A group of villages in the Kairuku-Hiri District of Central Province have ventured into the seafood industry by exporting locally farmed mud crabs to international markets.
With crab fishery, a small but increasingly important business, the Poe villages along the coastline of the Kairuku LLG have set up two farming sites where they breed and grow mud crabs and export.
Since the concept was introduced in October 2019, the villages have installed two farming sites in Biotou and Kivori where it sits along an estuarine of mangroves that is conducive for mud crabs.
However, this business is under threat as climate change and other factors continue to diminish the natural habitats of these crustaceans.
Bernard Magaru the Managing Director of Grankle Seafood Marketing Limited (GSM PNG) explained.
“I knew there was a lot of work and money needed in this project. But if we protect our mangroves and village properly, yes we are not going to go wrong. But right now we have to manage this project carefully,” Magaru said.
In 2019 alone, a total of 500tons of mud crabs from various farms in the country were exported to Singapore and Hong Kong generating revenue of K120million.
And the Poe Villages through the GSM have now signed a contract to supply New Zealand with mud crabs.
“We already have markets in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Europe. Just recently we signed a contract with New Zealand. They want mud crab, and the market is huge here. We just have to do it properly,” Magaru said.