Papua New Guinea’s ecommerce boom


Selling goods online is getting easier in Papua New Guinea, thanks to young entrepreneurs who have developed ecommerce solutions that promise to revolutionise business in the country.


Technology being developed by young and entrepreneurial Papua New Guineans is revolutionising the way things are done around the nation, from the way people shop to the way farmers sell their produce.

PGO!, for example, is PNG’s very own DoorDash. The app allows you to track your takeaway food order in real time, from when you place the order to when it’s at your doorstep.

Founder and Non-Executive Director, Andrew Kitum, is soon to expand the seamless on-demand delivery experience to include non-food vendors, such as grocery shops, pharmacies and SMEs.

Slowly edging into the eBay scene is new ecommerce site Shop Direct PNG. Owner Andy Lapthorne says that, unlike competitors Jungle and Shopsmart PNG, he wants to upload digital content, too, such as Tok Pisin lessons and bilum-weaving tutorials. He has also developed GoFeedMe, a free shopping platform for food in PNG. The basic plan allows vendors to access sales
reports, data analytics and tools to reach more customers.

ODESH fleet. Credit: ODESH

ODESH, the first Papua New Guinean online ride-hailing service, is another recent innovation, now connecting taxis ad chauffers in Port Moresby with customers in real time.

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Small-scale farmers, meanwhile, are benefiting from the EDidiman digital market platform developed by Bougainvillean Jordan Becks. It provides a consumer price index that allows farmers to track prices of cash crops, so they may be able to achieve best value for their product.

AgriKonnekt, another agri-tech startup, is being trialled in Central Province before it rolls out to the rest of the country. The platform provides a logistical arm, connecting farmers with transport to carry their produce. ‘We want to sign up SME trucks [for the trial] that are already servicing routes going into Kairuku,’ says AgriKonnekt’s Chief Technical Officer, Victor Tekwie.

Agbook, based in East New Britain, is offering a different kind of help to farmers: financial literacy programs. ‘This will help them transition from subsistence gardening to running a small, profitable business,’ says owner Nicole Isifu. Training is facilitated through workshops and self-paced videos.

Agbook will also be assisting PNG Agriculture Company in rolling out AgUnity, a blockchain-based app that allows farmers to make and receive payments through scanning QR codes, exchange information with buyers, and get a higher share of the profit.

The article ‘PNG: Getting Connected’ was first published in the December/January 2022 edition of PNG Now, Papua New Guinea’s leading lifestyle magazine.

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