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PNG Taro Makes Debut in New Zealand Markets

Papua New Guinea's  locally grown taro has found its way into New Zealand markets. Wantok Produce Limited (WPL), in collaboration with the National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI), has successfully completed the first shipment of frozen taro, weighing an impressive 30 tonnes.

Dr. Pulotu Lautofa McCarthy, Managing Director of WPL, highlighted the strategic importance of tapping into the New Zealand market, which boasts a sizable population of Pacific Islanders. "The New Zealand market presents a lucrative opportunity for us," Dr. McCarthy stated. "With a large number of Papua New Guineans residing there, there is a growing demand for PNG-grown produce."

Expressing optimism about the potential for further exports, Dr. McCarthy emphasized that WPL is not limited to taro alone. "We have the capacity to export a variety of agricultural products, including yams, sweet potatoes, cassavas, bananas, coffee, and more," he affirmed. "Our goal is to cater to the needs of the approximately 400,000 Pacific Islanders residing in New Zealand."

Dr. McCarthy also called upon the Papua New Guinea Government to prioritize the establishment of direct flights between Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. "Direct flights would significantly enhance our ability to access the New Zealand market and increase our export capacity," he explained. "This infrastructure development is crucial for the growth of our agricultural sector and the expansion of our export opportunities."

The successful entry of PNG taro into New Zealand marks a significant achievement for Papua New Guinea's agricultural industry, opening up new avenues for economic growth and international trade. With a commitment to quality and sustainability, WPL and NARI are poised to further capitalize on the demand for PNG-grown produce in global markets.

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