Australia-Pacific cooperation expected to grow agricultural trade in our region

The Australian Government is partnering our Pacific family, and with a leading international development organisation – DT Global – to grow agricultural trade with Pacific Island countries and enhance biosecurity.

It is expected the program would assist Pacific Island producers to improve product quality and find new markets for their goods.

The Federal government and DT Global will work closely with Pacific Island nations to support growers in managing pests and also help to ensure these pests don’t get the chance to pose a threat to our local farmers.

There are many potential pests across the Pacific including the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle, Fall Army Worm and African Swine Fever. This important work will help to address some of these biosecurity threats.

The great work being done doesn’t stop there, DT Global will help Pacific Island producers to improve the quality of their produce and find markets for their goods.

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment will work closely with the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Program (PHAMA Plus) to help these countries increase agricultural trade and secure the livelihoods of families across the Pacific.

Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Zed Seselja said the PHAMA program is helping Pacific Island exporters to comply with Australian biosecurity requirements; strengthen the capacity of biosecurity authorities through training and knowledge-sharing; and implement biosecurity processes, including surveillance and emergency preparedness.

“This program is supporting business-led economic growth in our region,” Minister Seselja said.

“PHAMA Plus supports critical jobs across the Pacific by allowing producers to gain greater access to Australian and New Zealand markets, exporting a variety of products from beef through to watermelons and sawn timber, and opening up access to global markets for cocoa, coffee, squash, kava and fish,” Minister Seselja said. 

“Growth in our region benefits Australia – and we are committed to supporting our Pacific family recover from both the health & economic impacts of COVID-19, committing a record $1.7 billion in development assistance to our region in the 2021 Budget.”

“I’m pleased to announce that PHAMA is now engaging with Kiribati, the Cook Islands and Niue, who have all recently ratified PACER Plus, in addition to its existing work in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga,” Minister Seselja said.

The program is part-funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, building on other strong outcomes from the Australian Government’s Pacific programs.

Helping producers and exporters gain greater market access and improve biosecurity will benefit our entire region and is good news for our agrifood producers and exporters.

Strong and resilient supply chains in our region and beyond are an essential part of the Australian Government’s Ag2030 target.

Our Pacific partners

·         The Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA Plus) Program is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade ($24.85 million) and the New Zealand Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade ($12 million).

  • The partnership will focus on countries in which PHAMA Plus operates: Fiji, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Tonga, as well as other countries under Australia’s PACER Plus commitment (currently the Cook Islands, Kiribati and Niue).