PROVINCIAL and Local Level Governments must know the existence of coffee rehabilitation work in their province to support it, says Potaisa Hombunaka, Manager of Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (coffee component).

By Leo Wafiwa 15/07/2016

THE National Government has confirmed Mr Charles Dambui as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) for a period of four years commencing May 30, 2016.Mr Dambui has been working as acting CEO since June 2015.

THE effort by Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) to increase production and quality is gaining momentum with a recent announcement of seven (7) new partnership agreements in Goroka under the additional funding.

JOHN SUPA – Public Relations Officer, Coffee Industry Corporation Ltd. 14th July 2016

Goroka District Court Senior Magistrate Gerard Vetunawa, on Wednesday (13/07/16), convicted and fined a man K1,000.00 or in default to serve 6 months imprisonment for breaching regulations under the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) Statutory Powers & Functions Act, 1991.

The defendant Timothy Jona aged 30 of Kimi in Okapa, Eastern Highlands Province was arrested during a joint Police and CIC operation two weeks ago at Ifiufa Village outside of Goroka, for illegally buying cherry coffee. He was arraigned under Section 21 (1) of the CIC Statutory Powers & Functions Act, 1991 and released on a Police Bail of K500.00.

Jona pleaded guilty before Magistrate Vetunawa last week and the case was adjourned to Wednesday for sentencing. In his pre-sentencing remarks before a packed courtroom, Mr Vetunawa also warned other illegal coffee dealers that;

“The Coffee Industry Corporation is a legally regulated industry”.
“Like any other industries, CIC is one such institution that is empowered by an Act of Parliament to deal with the coffee industry alone and nothing else”.
“CIC is the ultimate Boss to regulate and maintain coffee quality”  
“Paramount obligation of CIC is to export quality coffee to its overseas destinations – not substandard quality of coffee”.
“No Tom, Dick and Harry should try to breach the CIC Act”
“No one should compromise quality of coffee through breaching rules and regulations under the CIC Act”.
“If quality is there the farmer will get good money, no quality means no money or less money”

Senior Police Prosecutor Sergeant Joe Pipi, who prosecuted the case, expressed satisfaction, saying the Court had realised the importance of what the CIC was doing to enforce rules and regulations, all for the good of the coffee industry in PNG. Sergeant Pipi said the maximum penalty under Section 21 (1) of the CIC Act was imposed upon the defendant.

Should Jona is in default of the K1,000.00 fine , he faces 6 months imprisonment at the Bihute prison outside Goroka. Jona’s coffee weighing scale and over 500kgs of cherry coffee that were confiscated during his arrest were forfeited to CIC under the same Court order.

Under a joint agreement signed between Police Commissioner Gary Baki and CIC Chief Executive Officer, Charles Dambui, both Police and CIC Officers are currently engaged in a bipartisan approach towards enforcing the CIC’s Cherry Trade Ban policies.

A GOVERNMENT official has praised current efforts by Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (PPAP) to improve coffee production and quality in Papua New Guinea.
“The PPAP is a successful project for the government,” says Daniel Kopel of Department of Treasury.
Mr Kopel revealed this position on behalf of a government team he led which accompanied the 10th World Bank Implementation Support Mission to check coffee rehabilitation work being carried out by Lead Partners of PPAP coffee in the highlands region.
The project is financed by a loan facility from World Bank and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) with counter-funding from the PNG Government. 
“When government went to get the loan, we wanted the best practice model to deliver this project.
“The success of this project led to additional funding from World Bank and IFAD.”
The project has been extended from June 2016 to June 2019 following additional financing. It will include other coffee growing areas or provinces like Enga, Southern Highlands, Morobe, Madang, East Sepik and East New Britain.
Mr Kopel said the government would like to see PPAP as a model project where lessons learned can be institutionalized or integrated into other CIC programs. 
He emphasized that PPAP is a loan project and its success is the result of support by all stakeholders in the coffee industry. 
“The buck stops at you. The success of your project depends on you to improve the livelihood of your children to have a good living standard. That is the expected outcome of this project.”
On behalf of the PNG Government Mr Kopel acknowledged World Bank IDA and IFAD for financing the project.
World Bank representative Allan Oliver and IFAD official Dan Vadnjal were also impressed with the many information on rehabilitation activities shared by PPAP Lead Partners and CIC in two presentations held at Goroka and Mt Hagen.
“There is lots of information on local approaches being used and you know best how to deliver the project,” says Mr Vadnjal.
“What you doing is a great job. It is a honest statement.  We will work behind the scene to help you.”
Mr Vadnjal was struck by the remoteness of some projects particularly in Okapa, Eastern Highlands and inland Simbai, Madang Province where road and market access remains an obstacle to many rural farmers. 
The PPAP is a coffee rehabilitation project of CIC funded by a loan facility from World Bank IDA and IFAD with counter-funding from PNG Government.

Daniel Kopel of Treasury Department and PPAP consultant Abner Yalu checking some tools that have been distributed to farmers at Miruma Village in Upper Asaro Valley, Eastern Highlands Province, to improve their coffee gardens.


Approved for release:

 

Potaisa H. Hombunaka (Mr)
Project Manager
PPAP – CIC