Thursday, January 28, 2010

All's clear on the Aseki-Menyamya coffee road

Locals shows coffee growing at Yakwe village past Menyamya station

Coffee buyer Paias Nii’s vehicle, loaded with 30 bags , of coffee bogged at Koiwa village near the junction of Aseki.-Pictures by BUSTIN ANZU


Aseki and Menyamya areas of Morobe province are well-known for their high grade organic coffee, however, getting this to market is an absolute nightmare.

Aseki and Menyamya produce world-class organic coffee that is highly sought after.

Coffee is the leading cash crop in these areas.

Tonnes of coffee are produced in Aseki and Menyamya but getting them by road to Bulolo is beyond imagination.

In Lae, if you see four-wheel drive vehicles covered in mud, you would know that they have come from Aseki or Menyamya.

Coffee in these areas is grown high in the mountains and sold on the roadside to buyers who come from as far away as the Highlands provinces.

Menyamya and Aseki enjoyed their coffee sales through their own exporter Yha Hauka Kopi in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Yha Hauka Kopi Ltd coffee co-operative was founded in 1986 in order to help farmers market their coffee.

The co-operative worked to improve the livelihood of its members and other community members.

However, it ran into problems due to poor management, and the people of Aseki and Menyama suffered the consequences, coupled with deteriorating road conditions.

Over the last 10 years, road conditions have gone from bad to worse, with even four-wheel drives unable to pass through.

Menyamya MP, Benjamin Philip, has taken the challenge head on.

“The local MP Benjamin Philip had a lot of concern about deteriorating road conditions and purchased equipment with his electoral funds,” said project manager David Kaupa.

“The machines are now fixing up the entire problem stretch.

“What we are doing is making sure vehicles of any kind can travel up and down the Menyamya and Aseki roads.

“We want to get rid of the perception that Menyamya and Aseki roads are a disaster.”

Coffee buyer Paias Nii, from Mul Baiyer in Western Highlands, is glad that the nightmare is over.

“The road problem was a very serious issue for us coffee buyers,” he said.

“We used to spend nights camping along the road with bonfires.

“I’m glad that these problem areas have been cleared and I can drive through.”

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