contributes 13 per cent of the total domestic food production. Despite an
abundance of natural resources suitable for livestock production and
enviable low disease risk status, livestock production has not increased
significantly in the recent past. On the hand, meat consumption is
increasing steadily and is predicted to increase at a conservative rate of
5 per cent per annum. The cost of imported livestock products has
increased over the last five years, and at present exceeds K130 million
The estimated per capita
consumption of meat in PNG is 21 kg (compared to 40 kg in the Philippines
and 115 kg in Australia), and has not changed since 1990.
The beef cattle industry has proved its
presence for over forty years, but is facing difficulties to maintain
sustainable growth despite the existence of favorable natural environment
in many parts of the country and no major disease problems.
The industry is based on
large-scale ranching and smallholder cattle production. The size of the
national herd increased from 1950s and peaked in 1976 to around 153 000
head with more than 1000 smallholder cattle farms holding 50,000, the rest
were on large properties. At present there are 28 large properties with an
estimated 65 000 head and another 18,000 on 550 smallholder cattle farms.
The decline in cattle numbers is attributed to:
Poor skills in animal and
Withdrawal of services,
particularly extension support to smallholders.
Land ownership disputes
due to uncertainty of land tenure.
Lark of suitable credit
Increasing law and order
Reports indicate low herd
fertility (50 - 60%) and calf survival percentages are low (about 50 -
60%). Losses also arise from wild dogs being a major problem. Average
growth rates and time to reach slaughter weight are long. Annual beef
production has been virtually static around 2000 tonnes, but in recent
years production has increased slightly through higher turn off and higher
carcass weights and is estimated at about 2,800 tonnes. The annual
importation of beef is around 13000 tonnes with the canneries accounting
for 70 per cent of the imported beef.
The Government will continue to maintain an
appropriate beef industry production and protection policy, to ensure
that, the local beef producers are not unduly affected by foreign market
forces and the local beef market imperfections.
Like the poultry industry the
commercial pig industry developed rapidly under the ban of pig meat
imports introduced in 1983. The current industry is based on a small
number of large scale piggeries located on the outskirts of the major
cities and domestic pigs kept by various families. The industry, as in the
case of poultry industry, has a high dependence on imported feed
production grew rapidly since 1983 and stabilised between 1000 and 2000
tonnes per year, which satisfies the local demand at the current
consumption level. However, there is still growing demand for "baconers",
which encouragers small goods processors to import bacon for processing.
Village pig numbers are
estimated to be between 1.5 and 2 million, with an production of 6 000
tonnes. Village pigs are good scavengers and represent a significant
though underutilised source of protein. They also have a major social and
cultural significance, and are used in exchanges and feasting.
To continue to promote improvement in
productivity and production efficiency of the pig industry, for it to
continue its part in meeting the national demand for pork, and also to
enhance food security as well as income for the communities as well as to
meet the other social and cultural needs.
Although sheep was introduced into PNG in the
1980's, organised sheep development commenced only in 1975 with the
establishment of a breeding station in Goroka with technical assistance
from the NEW Zealand Government aimed to establish a village based sheep
industry in the country. Between 1975 and 1994 temperate sheep were
imported and crossed with local tropical breed to develop a suitable breed
for the highlands region.
It is estimated that there about 10 000
sheep in the country, and most of the animals are on smallholder farms in
the central highlands. demand for breeders are high but Government
breeding stations are unable to meet this demand, which is further
exacerbated by loses due to stealing of sheep from the breeding stations.
to overcome this problem. in collaboration with farmer groups, nucleus
sheep breeding farms have been established to multiply and distribute
breeders to satellite sheep farms.
Annual import of sheep meat, mostly the
cheaper cuts, has increased from 4 000 tonnes in the late 80's to almost
to 40 000 tonnes in recent years. This is attributed to a substitution
effect as a result of lower price of the sheep meat compared to other
meats in the market and increased meat consumption.
To continue to promote sheep husbandry as component of the farming
systems, for it to provide an alternative source of income for
smallholders; improve the nutritional status of village people; generate
income-earning opportunities and for use of by products to provide a means
of import substitution.
Goats were introduced in PNG in late 1800's
as a source of meat. More were imported after WW2 and distributed to
Missions and small village communities.
It is estimated that at present there about 25 000 goats in the country
and mostly found in Morobe, Eastern highlands and Simbu Provinces. Goats
are suitable for village production as they do well in poor quality feed;
tend to be prolific; less susceptible to internal parasites; fit well in
into village lifestyle; can produce milk to improve nutrition of village
children and can substitute sheep meat.
Head numbers vary, with many owners having
more than 50 goats that usually graze free range. Demand for breeding
animal is high. Hitherto no serious efforts have been made to promote goat
production in an organised way. Despite this Goat industry has grown
considerably due to local interest and to religious direction. Animal
numbers are however still small due to high kid mortality and low
productivity as a result in breeding, poor feeding and management.
The Government reorganised the importance of goats and potential
contribution that they can make to stability and sustainability of the
smallholder farming systems and will support a sustainable goat industry
specifically to provide the much needed meat and milk to the community.
farming in Morobe Province
Rabbit was introduce in the early 90's on
an experimental basis and has become popular in many villages. Currently
there are 2 000 rabbit farmers in the country. And the meat produced is
consumed within villages. Rabbit production has shown great promise
as source of meat and income although to date the production is not
substantial. Rabbits can be easily integrated into the local farming
systems. Other Livestock include dairy cattle, deer, crocodile, guinea
pigs, cassowaries, native birds, etc. These animals have social and
economic significance and should be researched and developed.
To promote disease free rabbit farming in the villages as an alternative
source of meat and income.