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Rice demand in Papua New Guinea

CollectionsPacific Economic Bulletin (1991-2010)
Title: Rice demand in Papua New Guinea
Author(s): Gibson, John
Publisher: Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University
Asia Pacific Press
Concern over rice imports is a long-standing feature of food policy in Papua New Guinea. Despite the failure of previous attempts at local rice production, policymakers are again setting ambitious targets for import replacement and are committing large budgets to rice projects. This article shows that rice consumption in Papua New Guinea is growing much more slowly than previously thought. If self-sufficiency efforts are motivated by the belief that the population increasingly depends on rice, they appear to be based on incorrect assumptions. Moreover, econometric evidence suggests that the income elasticity of rice demand has fallen rapidly over time and may even be negative. Hence a local rice industry may face static or even declining markets, making it harder to achieve efficiencies and increasing the risk of relying on protective barriers that will harm consumers and the rest of the economy.
ISSN: 1834-9455 (online)
0817-8038 (print)


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