By Neville Choi – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Tommy Tomscoll, has defended the ban on over ten different fruits and vegetables, and says there could be more, until dialogue and protocols are established with the countries from which these produce originate.
This is the second ban, and follows the first which was imposed on imported poultry products.
This latest ban, which the minister signed off on last Tuesday, covers a list that includes Irish potato, bulb onion, round cabbage, carrot, tomato, capsicum, pumpkin, peas, zucchini, eggplant, pak choi and Chinese cabbage, French bean, lettuce and celery.
Primarily, it is a ban that could effectively see the promotion of local fresh produce business, who have the capacity of growing and supplying the same fruits and vegetables, in country.
The minister’s office also corrected misreporting by one newspaper last week, who incorrectly said that rice was also on the ban list.
Mr Tomscoll said that he had been concerned about the free access to domestic markets in Papua of fruits and vegetables which can be grown and supplied locally.
It is understood that the minister is seriously considering another major ban of imported products from China and Asia. More particularly, those with labels in languages other than English.