As momentum builds up for the 2016 PNG Coffee Competition, cooperative groups from the coast and the Highlands are gearing up to participate at this significant event. 
The event is set to be staged in Lae, Morobe Province from the 15th to 19th August, 2016. 
Coffee Industry Corporation Interim Events Chairman Sam Menanga has confirmed that preparations are progressing well as coffee sample collections are currently being carried out. 
With just a week more to go before the first regional competition in Aiyura, Eastern Highlands Province, coffee inspectors have gone out to collect actual coffee samples from Southern Highlands, Western Highlands, Jiwaka, Simbu and Goroka will be done this week. “We are looking at more than 100 cooperative groups to participate at the first regional competition, said Menanga. He added that groups who cannot compete at the first regional competition can participate in the second regionals.
Through the Coffee Industry Corporation’s Freight Surety Program, it has facilitated the airfreighting of 31 parchment coffee bags from remote Simbai of Middle Ramu in the Madang province last Friday 10th June, 2016.
The 31 coffee bags belonged to two cooperative groups- Womuk Farmers Development Cooperative Society and Kakasa Farmers’ Cooperative Society. The groups have been trained and organized by Simbai-based Mobile Extension Officer David Elmai. 
Elmai said that the groups have undergone various coffee training and have proved that they were eligible to participate at the competition. He said that he hopes that the coffees vie in the top list for the national competition.
The first regional competition will commence from June 20th to July 1st whereas the second regional competition will run from July 18th to 29th. The regionals look at eliminating low scores coffees and passing only the top quality coffees for the national event.

Simbai farmers with Mobile Extension Officer David Elmai at Simbai station preparing to load their coffees last Friday- Photo courtesy of CIC Media Unit

Offloading coffee bags as they arrive in Goroka via MAF last Friday- Photo courtesy of CIC Media Unit