Coffee industry wants to increase production

Caption: Coffee Industry Corporation Ltd CEO Charles Dambui

 By DENNIS ORERE

THE coffee industry in PNG wants to increase production by 30 per cent in year 2022.

It is expected that by then, coffee production should generate K624 million from 78,000 tonnes from current production level under its short-term plan.

The plan was made known by Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) Ltd CEO Charles Dambui during the 2019 PNG Agriculture Sector Retreat this week, held at the International Convention Centre in Port Moresby.

CEO Dambui also explained to agriculture sector members and stakeholders that the short-term plan would be achieved through the following main ways:

  • Rehabilitate 500 hectares per year at an approximate cost of K5,333 per hectare
  • Increase number of households engaged directly in coffee via Coffee Price Support Scheme
  • Subsidise Freight Costs to freight coffee out of remote locations

Prime Minister and caretaker Minister for Agriculture James Marape, who initiated the program and is very vocal about agriculture development in the country, said at the opening of the sector retreat that PNG has great economic potential through the agriculture sector that by 2029, the country can become the food basket for the Asia-Pacific Region.

Prime Minister Marape said he looks forward to the 2019 APEC Meeting that will be held in Santiago, Chile, in South America from Nov 16 to 17, where he wants to take a proactive approach on behalf of the nation, especially for the agriculture sector. And coffee is high on the agenda.

“I will ask South Korea – can you pick up my coffee? I will ask the Philippines to pick up my rice. I will ask Malaysia to pick up my livestock. We can improve on our exports,” said Prime Minister Marape.

Upon his appointment as Prime Minister earlier this year, Mr Marape appointed a Minister for Agriculture, as well as three Vice-Ministers for the Ministry with one overseeing coffee, one for copra, cocoa and palm oil, and the other one to oversee livestock.

Agriculture Vice-Minister responsible for Coffee and Daulo MP Pogio Ghate, said at the occasion that people in PNG are really depending on agriculture for survival, and so our land is very important.

Ghate said: “The current Government is very serious about the agriculture industry.”

CEO Charles Dambui also highlighted CIC’s Medium Term-Plan, which aims that by 2025, coffee production should generate K960 million from 120,000 tonnes from 2022 production level.

For the long-term plan, it is predicted that in 2030, coffee production should generate K1.5 billion from 180,000 tonnes from 2025 production level.

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