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Abstract

Large quantities of fresh produce can be grown in the Highlands provinces of Papua New Guinea, and this produce is then marketed to a range of markets, including the coastal cities of Port Moresby and Lae. However, it is often argued that the marketing system performs poorly, and various reasons for this are cited. In this paper, the results of a study on the marketing of smallholder produce originating in the Highlands provinces and destined for a range of markets, including the coastal cities, are presented. A defensible supply chain framework is used to evaluate a range of marketing issues and to evaluate the performance of the marketing system. The results of the study are refreshingly positive. It was found that the marketing system was remarkably vibrant, given the current level of market development in Papua New Guinea. It is characterised by entrepreneurial behaviour by the private sector, where businesses along the chain compete and innovate in order to expand their operations and meet the needs of the customers in their varied market segments. However, they are constrained in their endeavours by poor infrastructure, which raises their costs of doing business. It was concluded that the use of a Supply Chain Framework can yield a very robust and insightful understanding of the performance of the agricultural marketing system in developing economies.

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