By AUGUSTINE DOMINIC of CIC
The significant contribution of smallholder coffee farmers in Papua New Guinea was highlighted recently during the contract signing of the second call of proposals of the World Bank-funded coffee component of the Productive Partnership in Agriculture Project (PPAP).
Acting chief executive officer of the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC), Anton Benjamin, said smallholder farmers produced 85% of the PNG coffee and the industry was in their hands.
“Many of our exporters and traders are competing for a fixed volume of coffee and depended on smallholders for their coffee,” he said.
|Project manager of the World Bank-funded Coffee component of the PPAP, David Freyne, explaining the contract process to the successful partners at the Pacific Gardens Hotel in Goroka recently.|
Benjamin said the coffee component of the PPAP was very important and must be embraced by all partners as it was connecting smallholder farmers with traders to increase coffee volume and quality to meet international market demands.
He signed contracts worth K9 million with seven different partners from the Eastern Highlands, Chimbu, Jiwaka and Western Highlands provinces under the coffee component of the PPAP.
So far, over 12, 000 smallholder farmers are being assisted through the PPAP project, with the first and second phase of the call of proposals.
The seven partners in the second call of proposals are: Coffee Connections as lead partner and its cooperative partnership of 1, 500 farmers; Colbran Coffee Lands Ltd as lead partner and its Tairora coffee partnership of 439 farmers[ Rilke Pty Ltd as lead partner and its Hagen/Rilke joint coffee venture of 1, 080 farmers; New Highlands Coffee Exports as lead partner and its smallholder coffee rehabilitation project with 959 farmers; Madan Coffee and Tea Plantation Ltd as lead partner and its Anglimp smallholder coffee partnership with 310 farmers; Community Development Agency-Gumine as lead partner with its project on coffee production and marketing in Gumine covering 300 farmers; and Gerame Coffee Ltd as lead partner with its Gerame Alumpa partnership of 326 farmers.
These seven partnerships were selected through a vigorous process out of a total of 55 applicants.
The third call of proposals will be advertised when funds are available.
The occasion was witnessed by CIC chairman Patrick Komba, PPAP chairman Ian Mopafi, representatives from the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Department of National Planning, and various stakeholders.