Papua New Guinea (PNG) has a total land mass of about 463,000 km² much of which is arable land. Over 85% of the nation’s population is involved in farming and agriculture. Agriculture activities contribute to a quarter of the country’s GDP, and, together with fisheries accounted for 10.2% of total exports in 2015 totaling K594.2M (AUD 244M).
The main agricultural exports are cocoa, coffee and coconuts. Forestry product exports (excluding round logs) were valued at K95.2M (AUD 39M) in 2015 contributing to 1.6% of export revenue . While agricultural commodities are an integral part of PNG exports, the fresh produce industry primarily targets the domestic market with some limited export opportunities for Australian, New Zealand and neighbouring Pacific Island countries. PNG Government policy is to promote agricultural development for both domestic and export supply.
Central to the PHAMA approach is the development of strong public-private partnerships (PPP’s) between the government and private sector to help manage market access. PHAMA has established a Working Group in PNG to provide strategic direction to the Program’s activities. This group includes private sector representatives (e.g. exporters, processors, and production groups) from various industries and relevant government agencies responsible for market access (e.g. Departments of Quarantine, Trade, Agriculture, Fisheries, Health and Forestry). To broaden and deepen engagement with the private sector, PHAMA has also facilitated the establishment of Industry Working Groups (IWGs) specific to Papua New Guinea’s key export industries of cocoa, coffee, coconut and fisheries.
The PHAMA Program launched in PNG in November 2015. Consequently, the Program’s activity focus is evolving as more is learnt about where PHAMA can add value. Overall, PHAMA’s strategy in PNG is to improve market access for the country’s key export industries and to promote industry coordination through the IWG’s. PHAMA continues to explore new market access opportunities for other horticultural and fresh agricultural produce, but it is recognised that these are likely to be limited. As a result, the current focus areas include: