Caption: Coffee farmer Solomon Hame of Maimafu in the remote district of Lufa, Eastern Highlands with his coffee bags flown in from the area under CIC’s Freight Surety program last Friday.
COFFEE farmers in remote areas need support and more collaborative efforts in getting their coffee into towns to access markets for better prices.
Niugini Aviation Services, a nationally owned company chief pilot Paul Gueme expressed concern for coffee farmers in airstrips areas like Negabo, Pinoro and Karamui in Simbu Province and Maimafu in Eastern Highlands after airlifting 17,175kgs (17.2 tonnes) of coffee from these airstrips last week.
“I have seen that more coffee is coming out from these remote airstrips and need more funding. As I was flying into these airstrips last week, tonnes of coffees were piled up waiting for the next service flight to get them out to sell.”
He said they have been involved with the Coffee Freight Program and would like to see that these coffees are ferried out.
“The small aircraft we use a PAC 750 only carries 20 bags at a time and can manage to get more out as we have done last week.”
Mr Gueme said more efforts in terms of funding is required by the airlines to help in freighting these coffee out from the airstrips to the markets.
Niugini Aviation would like to continue its work to freight coffee in addressing this issue and calls upon the Provincial and National Government to look seriously into putting more funding for this cause in serving these rural communities.