PNG poultry industry welcomes Australian ban
Operators in the poultry industry in Papua New Guinea are welcoming a Government ban on all raw poultry products imported from Australia.
Producers in the poultry industry in Papua New Guinea are welcoming a government ban on all raw poultry products imported from Australia.
The indefinite ban was imposed last week and Agriculture and Livestock Minister Tommy Tomscoll says a decision was made following ongoing concerns about potential health threats.
Farmers say along with increased biosecurity protection, the ban will boost business for local poultry producers by giving them an increased foothold in the PNG market.
Indira Moala reports.
The PNG Farmers and Settlers Association had been advocating for a ban since 2013 after the Newcastle bird disease, found in poultry products from Australia, was detected in several villages and led to the infection of local livestock. The association's president Wilson Thompson says the local industry needs to be protected and promoted. Mr Thompson says the average price of one chicken in PNG currently is about $20 US dollars. He says the ban will help reduce those prices for the benefit of the community.
WILSON THOMPSON: Uncooked poultry products that are coming in - it was sort of undercutting our small holder poultry farmers. But we believe that it will improve the domestic production but at the same time it will explain that the more we produce here, the price of domestic produce - the price should go down so that also consumers can benefit from the flow on effect.
The Secretary of PNG's Poultry Industry Association, Keith Galgal says his association is delighted that the ban is now in effect. Mr Galgal says one in four households is engaged in poultry production and the ban will support hard working small holder farmers.
KEITH GALGAL: We have the means to increase or even double or triple the local production of chicken, meat and eggs and we believe that we can meet the local demand. And by estimation, there are between 40,000 and 60,000 small holder farmers. And imagine these farmers and their families will be affected if there is a disease outbreak that has come from an imported uncooked first poultry product. And they are our members that we want to protect.
Business Analyst Stanley Nondol also says the ban is good news for small and medium enterprises and will provide more job opportunities in the community.
STANLEY NONDOL: Simply, it is easy for PNG farmers to get involved in poultry because in PNG poultry industry we have few diseases so this will encourage farmers to grow more chicken and then it will support the local economy providing jobs and cash income to support smaller farmers who are unemployed.
Keith Galgal says the Poultry Industry Association believes PNG farmers deserve the same bio-security policies as Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, which only allow cooked poultry products to be imported. Mr Galgal says the ban is a step forward in the right direction towards improving policies that will protect local produce and increase trade.
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