PNG’s National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA) recently launched its first ten-year biosecurity policy. The policy will run from 2022 to 2032 and aims to ease trade within Papua New Guinea, conserve biodiversity, and allow for commodity imports.

The general director of NAQIA, Joel Alu, has said the biosecurity policy would act as a springboard for the authority and the agriculture industry. He hopes it will result in regulations that will protect agricultural products for international trade and keep them free from disease and pests.

Mr Alu said, “From the policy, we are going to launch the bill, we will derive the bill from this policy, we will draft the law, and that law will help guide how we want to conduct trade in this country. NAQIA does not have the tooth to bite, and this policy allows us to develop that tooth to bite.”

The minister of agriculture and livestock, John Simon, attended the policy’s launch. He urged NAQIA to pay more attention to the Biosecurity Act and its rules.

Mr Simon said, “A good policy is supported by legislation and a good set of regulations with the requirements and financial resources.”

The biosecurity policy’s main aims are to develop a framework that will safeguard livelihoods and protect the agriculture industry and the environment while promoting internal and external trade.

Processes at borders will help stop the spread of pests. In addition, the policy aims to enhance agricultural productivity and market access and improve export market opportunities.

Image caption: The minister of agriculture and livestock, John Simon