Friday, February 15, 2013

Freight help for coffee farmers

Source: The National, Thursday, February 14, 2013
SMALLHOLDER coffee farmers in remote areas of Papua New Guinea have received more than K600,000 in net benefits over a five-year period under the government-funded freight surety scheme carried out by Coffee Industry Corporation.
CIC chief executive officer Navi Anis said without this programme, farmers in remote parts of PNG would have received less than K200,000 and big volumes of coffee would have been lost due to lack of transport.
He said the freight scheme had contributed more than US$2 million to foreign exchange earnings in the five-year period since 2008.
“Given the high cost of transport and subsequent drop in farm-gate prices, farmers in the remote parts of PNG have been deprived of basic social and economic services,” Anis said.
“Such a programme asthe  coffee freight scheme is doing its best to keep farmers from not only engaging in coffee production, but also improving their social and economic livelihoods.
“The objective of the programme is to facilitate market access for coffee growers in the remote areas by assisting in transporting coffee to the nearest marketing depots, facilitating processing, and marketing.”
He said MPs in coffee-growing areas should look at the plight of farmers in terms of market accessibility and assist them in building proper airstrips, roads and sea ports.
Anis thanked the government for allocating K4 million to CIC for the coffee freight scheme this year.

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