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Papua New Guinea Agriculture Minister John Simon opens Investment Forum



Papua New Guinea Agriculture Minister John Simon during the Investment Forum held at the Almas Conference Center, Almas Tower, Dubai, UAE.

Papua New Guinea has the potential to become the meat bowl or supplier of quality beef meat to the world if we had international “friends” partnering with government and existing industry players to invest in world class abattoir and slaughtering facilities

This was one of the key investment opportunities which PNG Agriculture Minister Hon. John Simon highlighted when giving his official keynote address at the 4th Papua New Guinea Investment Forum themed “Sustainable Agriculture- Value Adding and Inclusive Growth for a Better Tomorrow.” The event was organized by the PNG Pavilion at the Dubai World Expo at the margins of the Expo thematic week on Food, Agriculture and Livelihoods. The event also begins a series of planned programs leading up to the PNG National Day on February 28.

The forum was attended by PNG Tourism Minister Hon. Isi Leonard, Managing Director of the Investment Promotion Authority Mr. Clarence Hoot, and members of the private sector in the United Arab Emirates.

Minister Simon in his address said that PNG was predominantly agriculture based and most of its people relied on agriculture to provide sustenance, income, peace, feasts and cultural obligations.

“Agriculture is an important component of the PNG economy because it generates foreign exchange, creates employment, ensures food and nutrition security, and accounts for 26% of the total GDP,” Minister Simon said. “But most importantly it supports 85% of the population especially in rural areas who depend on agriculture for their livelihood.”

Minister Simon called for cooperation and partnerships to increase trade and investment to effectively and efficiently meet the supply chain and market requirements of the international markets in terms of quantity, quality and consistency of supply. He said increasing agriculture exports was an important priority for the government to grow the economy using export driven economic sectors like Agriculture.

Minister Simon in his remarks also gave investment statistics in the key industries within the Agriculture sector to give a picture on where opportunities lie. He mentioned that Palm Oil was the top cash crop commodity in PNG which generates an average of K1.2 billion annually in export revenues and accounts for 47% of the total agriculture exports.

The second major commodity cash crop is coffee which generates an average of K500 million in export revenue per year. 85% of the production figures of coffee are small holder farmers. In terms of global production, PNG is ranked 17th in which the government is determined to change with each plans to increase production by 2030.

Minister Simon gave his confidence in the UAE market stating that the expo would provide a launching pad for PNG’s commodity crops.

The other top agriculture industries in order of ranking as outlined by Minister Simon are; cocoa industry which PNG accounts for less than 1% of the total world production although the International Cocoa Origination (ICCO) has stated that PNG cocoa has 75% fine flavour; coconut industry which produces more than 80, 000 tonnes annually; rubber industry which generates K18.97 million per year from 2001 - 2020; spice especially vanilla has been one of PNG’s key industry which ranks PNG as the 4th vanilla producer in the world; fresh produce market value is estimated to be K2.5 billion and is mainly subsistence and smallholder based; livestock contributes 13% of the total domestic food production and is a key area of investment opportunities.

The forum was delivered both physically and virtually and attended by both government officials and the private sector.

Authorized for Release by:

Joshua Kalinoe, CSM, CBE

Ambassador & Commissioner General Expo2020

22nd February 2022

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