Papua New Guinea
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Freighting agencies receive funding support

There are approximately 3,000 tons of parchment coffee yet to be air freighted from 67 operational airstrips in remote areas in the country.

Coffee Minister Joe Kuli said this when presenting dummy cheques worth K1 million to various third level airlines and shipping agencies on Monday, July 31, 2023 in Port Moresby.

Minister Kuli said the volume of coffee freighted from these airstrips would increase if jetties and airstrips were upgraded and maintained.

He said the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) already has a program called the Freight Surety Scheme (FSS), which has been working closely with the freighting agencies to move coffee out from remote areas.

“It is a government funded program and uses third level airline and shipping companies to move coffee out. I would like to commend the third level airlines and shipping agencies for their services to the remote areas and for making market accessibility possible for the farmers,” Minister Kuli said.

The Minister and CIC chief executive officer, Charles Dambui did the cheque presentation at Morauta Haus. recipients of the funding support included; Niugini Aviation Services Ltd who received K300, 000, North Coast Aviation, Adventist Aviation Services, Air Sanga, Lutheran Shipping Services, JJ Shipping and Consort Express Lines with K100, 000 each for coffee freighting.

CEO Dambui said the reported volume of coffee for airfreighting was 108, 700kg, but only 27, 202kg or 25 percent of the total were freighted while 75 percent are yet to be freighted. 

“The return on investment on the FSS program in the last 6 months was 1:8, meaning that every K1 spent on freight, a farmer generates K8 from the coffee sales. The economic returns of the program clearly demonstrates FSS as a people level impact project that needs to be sustained with wider coverage.”

Dambui said to date, the FSS program serves at least 15 provinces and 26 districts in the country through 48 airstrips and seven jetties and wharves.

Air Sanga Ltd representative, Kingsley Slowat thanked the government through the coffee ministry and CIC for the funding support.

Slowat stressed that regular maintenance and upkeep of the airstrips would enable them and other third level airlines to continue airfreighting coffee from remote areas.

He also added that high costs in wear and tear and retaining experienced bush pilots was a big challenge for them and others.

Slowat urged the District Development Authorities to step in and help in maintaining the respective airstrips in their districts.