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Papua New Guinea

Coffee industry slowly dying due to prices

BY PEARSON KOLO

The country’s coffee industry is slowly dying because of the low coffee prices in domestic markets over the years which is discouraging coffee farmers who are resorting to other farming activities to support themselves.

Smallholder coffee growers from the Daulo district of Eastern Highlands Province said this yesterday while claiming that the 2019 inaugural national coffee symposium was attended by paper coffee farmers, who are also contributing in killing the coffee industry.

Daulo smallholder coffee growers’ association chairman John Inerehu said coffee farmers in the country are not benefiting from the different coffee prices according to their coffee grades.

“All coffee grades specified under CIC are AA,A, B, X, PSC, specialty grades, certified organic grades, Y1, Y2 and T grade and all these grades of coffee have different prices,” Mr Inerehu said.

“But the coffee farmers are not aware of the different coffee grade prices and are missing out on the benefits of their coffee which in turn is discouraging them from farming coffee.”

Mr Inerehu said cost of coffee production in the country is high with all coffee plantation in the country covered by bushes and the transport networks to the markets are deteriorated with high freight costs.

“We the small coffee farmers in the country have not been given any support over the years by the national government to improve our coffee production and that is why our coffee industry is slowly dying as coffee farmers are leaving coffee because the income cannot sustain them.”

The coffee farmers urged the government to deal directly with the coffee farmers and not to entertain paper coffee farmers who do not have coffee farmers but were leeching out money meant for coffee farmers from the government.

Mr Inerehu called on the government and CIC to do something swiftly to encourage and give confidence to the coffee farmers to continue coffee farming before the industry vanishes in the country.

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