PHAMA Plus formalises partnership with NAQIA
The Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) Plus Program has formalized a partnership with Papua New Guinea’s biosecurity agency to continue supporting response efforts towards African Swine Fever (ASF), Fall Armyworm (FAW) and market access.
PHAMA Plus yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA) to strengthen bio-security systems and capacity in PNG, with immediate focus on the two present threats – African Swine Fever (ASF) and Fall Armyworm (FAW). Both biosecurity issues pose combined social, cultural and economic threats to PNG which prompted swift action by NAQIA to contain, manage and eliminate further outbreak.
Through the support of the Australian and New Zealand governments, PHAMA Plus is working hard with NAQIA to deliver critical activities that respond to these diseases, including logistics, community awareness-raising, technical and capacity building activities.
ASF is a deadly disease that has killed pigs across the world with no known cure or treatment. It was first reported in PNG in March 2020. PNG’s rapid response effort to the outbreak of ASF in the provinces of Western Highlands, Southern Highlands, Enga, and Hela over the last six months which has significantly mitigated the spread of the disease beyond these declared provinces.
FAW is a pest that can damage a variety of crops and has already caused significant damage throughout Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was detected in Northern Australia, the Torres Strait and PNG’s Western Province in February 2020.
NAQIA Managing Director, Joel Alu, said the continued partnership with PHAMA Plus would support the authority’s mandated responsibilities in safeguarding PNG’s agriculture, agri-businesses and way of life.
“Through this MOU, we’re combining resources and working together to allow NAQIA staff to respond to critical biosecurity risks and implement their mandated biosecurity tasks, drawing on critical technical and logistical support available through PHAMA Plus,” Alu said.
WATCH: EMTV Online news coverage of the MoU signing
“PHAMA Plus and NAQIA have collaborated on various aspects of biosecurity, market access and trade since 2015. A clear example of this collaboration is how quickly and effectively NAQIA responded to initially contain ASF. This was greatly assisted by PHAMA Plus’ support.”
PHAMA Plus PNG Country Manager, Sidney Suma, said the partnership also provided an opportunity to upgrade and modernise some of the processes in NAQIA, including improving import/export facilitation.
“In this MOU we are supporting NAQIA to build capacity and perform its mandated functions to facilitate export trade. This aligns to PHAMA Plus’ goal to improve economic growth and rural livelihoods in PNG through partnerships with the private and public sector,” Suma added.
“We will work closely with NAQIA to facilitate market access and export of PNG agricultural and marine products and to modernise import permit and export certification processes to facilitate biosecurity safe imports.”
*For more information, please contact PHAMA Plus PNG Country Manager Sidney Suma on firstname.lastname@example.org