A coffee farmer from Biawen attends to one of his coffee trees during the pruning practical session.
Its strategy includes rehabilitation of all aging senile coffee trees, expansion into new growth areas and establishment of nurseries, mobilisation of smallholder coffee growers, promote marketing systems which revolve around quality.
Hidden Valley is helping to achieve these objectives in partnership with Mainland Holdings Limited (MHL) through a coffee training programme.
The mine is funding the trainings which are conducted by MHL for villages located in the footprint of the mining operation in the Wau/Bulolo district of Morobe province.
The objective of the programme is to enhance the income of the rural people through coffee production.
The first training was conducted for Biangai villages in Wau from July to August, 2010.
It involved six Biangai villages including the two principal landowners of the Hidden Valley Gold Mine: Kwembu and Winima.
The training was aimed at enhancing the income of the Biangai community through improved coffee management practices.
It focused on improving the skills and knowledge of farmers on, coffee nursery establishment and field planting, coffee garden management, basic garden rehabilitation and pruning practices, coffee quality improvement through improved harvesting and processing techniques and basic financial management and cash handling practices and Marketing.
The training was conducted in two phases, theory and practical.
It attracted a huge turnout with a total of 95 participants in attendance.
Five came from Winima, 10 from Kwembu, 58 from Biawen, 10 from Werewere, 10 from Elauru and three from Kaisenik and also comprised of 16 females, two of whom were ward councilors, seven church pastors and a grade 11 female student of Grace Memorial Secondary School.
The participants were presented with shade cloth for nursery and drying beds, secateurs and saws for pruning, nails for the nursery buildings, yellow cover cloth for the drying roofs, and topped it off with 17 coffee cherry pulping machines to assist them to continue to take care of their coffee gardens.