THE Obura-Wonenara Coffee Cooperative Society (OWCCS) Ltd is the first farmer group to become a Lead Partner in the Coffee Industry Corporation’s (CIC) rehabilitation work, says Project Manager Potaisa Hombunaka.
The farmer group from one of the remote electorates referred to as the ‘back page’ of Eastern Highlands Province were praised for their efforts for having good leadership led by Arnold Kori to organise cluster groups to successfully bid for coffee development funding totaling K2.3 million. The farmer group had been working very closely with CIC Aiyura officers hence got the capacity to deliver the project going forward.
The project is financed by a loan facility from World Bank (IDA) and IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) with counter-funding from PNG Government. It is being implemented by CIC’s Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project in partnership with private sector firms including processors, exporters, NGOs, community-based organisations, and Faith-based organisations.
The effort in Obura-Wonenara electorate will involve 737 coffee households covering 427 hectares.
The Obura-Wonenara farmers were one of the 19 successful finalists from 66 applications who have shown genuine interest to partner CIC-PPAP to improve their coffee gardens.
“Yupela mas paitim han long yupela yet long dispela,” says Mr Hombunaka when congratulating the farmers and their families who gathered at the agreement signing ceremony between CIC-PPAP and Obura-Wonerara Cooperative Society Ltd at Aiyura Valley Coffee Research Station on Wednesday 26 October.
Mr Hombunaka says the farmer group is one of few organized and structured farmer cooperative societies with eight resource centres that are registered with Investment Promotion Authority. They will partner seven women working groups in the coffee rehabilitation work totaling 15 copartner groups that are affiliated to the umbrella organization OWCCS Ltd.
Other farmer cooperatives are already taking part in the industry rehabilitation program but as as copartners.
“Going forward, we would like to see more coffee cooperatives coming on as Lead Partners if the project continue after June 2019.
The first lot of support for the rural farmers will be the distribution of tools at a subsidized cost after completion of household survey.
Some farmers of Obura-Wonenara Coffee Cooperative Society with the signed agreement with CIC-PPAP paving the way for coffee rehabilitation to begin their area.
Approved for release:
Potaisa H. Hombunaka (Mr)
PPAP – CIC