OVER 1000 coffee farmers in the countryside of Morobe Province are mobilizing to produce and process quality coffee for a fair price under group marketing.
“Mipela wok wanwan na i no kisim gutpela mani. Ol namel man husat nogat kofi diwai i kisim moa mani” (We work as individuals and getting less from our harvest. Middle people who have no coffee trees are benefiting from our hard work),” says Pauline Lakis.
Mrs Lakis, aged 35, is a female farmer from Pelato in Buang District. She has been buying parchment coffee for eight years in the area at K3.50 per kilogram. It takes her almost four hours to travel to Lae city to sell to a Chinese man at K4 per kilogram. The difference is only 50t which is insufficient to cover for transport cost.
She is one of 95 growers in the area who have realized the shortcomings of working as individuals and have joined other farmers to form Pelato Kofi Grup only last year.
The farmers are organizing themselves for coffee rehabilitation funding from World Bank, IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) and PNG Government through CIC-PPAP’s Lead Partner Niugini Coffee, Tea and Spices Ltd.
The Coffee Industry Corporation’s Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project will train farmers on appropriate farming and coffee processing practices to improve their yield and quality for a premium price under group marketing.
Mrs Lakis and other farmers in rural Buang met with the CIC-PPAP Monitoring & Evaluation Team last week for a briefing on household survey (HHS) at Buang LLG Station.
Farmer group chairman John Kanund said they are looking forward to improving their coffee gardens.
An obstacle for farmers in Buang and other rural areas of Morobe is proper road and market access.
Pelato Kofi Grup is one of six farmer groups who will take part in the coffee development work under Call 3 following the signing of an agreement between CIC-PPAP and Niugini Coffee, Tea and Spices Ltd recently in Lae. Under the deal CIC-PPAP will fund rehabilitation work to the tune of K1, 562,446 covering 531 hectares.
Other five co-partner groups are Kei Rural Coffee Cooperative in Buang (200 households), Mato Coffee Group in Mumeng (210 households), Gamin Coffee Cooperative in Waing (230 households), Kwaita Mini Coffee Plantation in Wantoat (260 households) and Irumu Coffee Group in Wampar (70 households). Total project area covers 531 hectares.
The first lot of support for the rural farmers will be the distribution of tools at a subsidized cost after completion of household survey.
Coffee farmers of Pelato Kofi Group outside Buang LLG station following their meeting with CIC-PPAP officers. At the background is the Buang River.
Female farmer Pauline Lakis, aged 35, is one of 95 growers in the area who have realized the shortcomings of working as individuals and have joined other farmers to form Pelato Kofi Grup only last year.
Approved for release:
Potaisa H. Hombunaka (Mr)
PPAP – CIC