Technical and Economic Feasibility of Selected Fresh Produce Export Pathways in Papua New Guinea

PHAMA undertook a feasibility study to identify fresh produce products that may have potential for export in Papua New Guinea. The study involved compiling a long list of potential export commodities subsequently reduced to 26, followed by analysis of supply, demand and biosecurity issues and value chain analysis to estimate financial returns. The study identified significant limitations to fresh produce exports: PNG’s unfavourable fruit fly status; market access barriers; high cost levels; lack of export readiness among traders; high prices in Port Moresby; and relatively high value of the Kina at present. The study concluded that, apart from a small number of products, it is questionable whether PNG should invest significant resources in the development of fresh produce export marketing pathways, given the likelihood of better returns from the development of the domestic market. The products with most potential for export and worth further investigation are: asparagus, sweet potato, coconuts and chillies. Once current deficiencies and bottlenecks in domestic value chains have been remedied there would be a much stronger platform from which to launch an export initiative.

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