Mindanao farmers are set to export premium rice to Papua New Guinea as a memorandum of agreement was finalized between the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and the Pacific Nation.
Last September 5, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by MinDA chairperson Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and and Central Province Governor Robert Agarobein in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
Also present during the signing were Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape and Philippine Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Bienvenido Tejano.
“An initial shipment of 5,000 metric tons of the best quality rice produced in Mindanao, including RC-160, 7-Tonner, Banaybanay, Dinorado and Organic Rice – will be shipped to Port Moresby as soon as the export documents are completed,” said Piñol in a statement.
He adds that Papua New Guinea will import the Mindanao rice for distribution to other areas in the country.
Mindanao Rice to be sold at a premium
Piñol explains that normally, rice in Papua New Guinea is pegged at 3.50 – 5 Kina (roughly around ₱49 – ₱70 ) per kilogram. The premium Mindanao rice however will be priced higher. Despite this, Prime Minister Marape said that “there is a niche market for good eating quality rice in the country.”
In addition, Piñol explains that Agarobe and East Sepik governor Allan Bird also stated that Papua New Guineans are willing to a pay a premium for good rice.
PH to possibly import other products to Papua New Guinea
Aside from improving economic ties between the two nations, Piñol says that this new export market for Mindanao farmers will “protect the region’s farmers from the adverse effects of massive rice importation.”
Papua New Guinea imports 400,000 metric tons of rice every year from Australia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
In addition to rice, Piñol explains that they are also looking to export other products, as Papua New Guinea has expressed further interest in opening their market to the Philippines.
“MinDA eyes to link Mindanao’s poultry farmers with Papua New Guinea aiming to export dressed chicken,” said Piñol.
International Roadshows held to show Mindanao’s potential
This development was a result of the recently held Mindanao Trade and Business Mission to Papua New Guinea last September 3 – 6.
Piñol also presented other business and trade opportunities to Papua New Guinea’s private sector. Particularly, he explained that investors can look into rice trading, processing, and production with Mindanao. Other industries he presented include poultry, timber, and mining.
This trade mission is one of the roadshows set by MinDA to push for the promotion of the economic potentials of Mindanao in the global market.
via SunStar Davao / Rueuel John F. Lumawag