Coffee Farmers in Madang's Simbai Station in the Middle Ramu District continue to face transportation issues with bringing their coffee to Mt Hagen (Western Highlands), to sell.
Caspar Nol is in charge of a coffee association in Simbai. He raised this concern recently, adding that farmers in the villagers have a lot of coffee to sell, but cannot bring it to Simbai Station and on to Mt Hagen.
Mr Nol said he and others look after the coffee warehouse at Simbai. They have bought a tractor and need help in bringing the machinery to Simbai to resolve the transportation issue between local villages and the coffee warehouse.
He said coffee is one of the main income generating crops for the people of Simbai. However transportation continues to distinguish their efforts and hope in producing coffee.
Nol said last year they sold more than 400 bags that was taken to Mt Hagen on a chartered plane. It cost them K4,700.
Mr Nol added that it is a very expensive exercise but they persevered and managed to transport their coffee. He said they negotiate with local trade store owners where the charter plane that brings in store goods from Mt Hagen for one store, loads their coffee bags on the return flight. They then pay the store owner K5 per kilogram of cargo.
He said one bag of coffee when properly packed is about 50 kilograms and it is very expensive for a farmer in the village to carry that bag of coffee on the plane to Mt Hagen to sell it. That is why they have this arrangement under the cooperative group they have set up.
At the moment, they desperately need their tractor. Mr Nol said he has written to several provincial leaders but have had no response.