Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Coffee nurseries for East Sepik schools

Caption:  Navi Anis, CEOof CIC and Dr Mark Kenny, acting general manager of CIC’s research and grower services division, at a procession for the launch of school nursery programme in Maprik, East Sepik province




“You can never fail to be a farmer,”’ stresses Navi Anis, chief executive officer of the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC).

 He quoted from remarks made by James Korarome, a CIC board director at the launch of the nursery programme last month at Aiyura in Eastern Highlands.

Mr Anis was the guest-of-honor at the recent launch of the coffee nursery programme for pilot coffee curriculum schools in East Sepik province. 

He observed in his first official visit as CEO that many farmers along the Yangoru and Maprik sections of the Sepik Highway had abandoned their coffee trees.

Mr Anis expressed sadness at the sight and asked farmers to rehabilitate the coffee trees when officiating at Maprik High School.

Maprik district is the top producer of Robusta coffee in the country so it was fitting that the event took place in the district.

Mr Anis said grower groups were the way to move forward in the coffee industry.

 Service delivery in groups is cost-effective and it provides opportunities for controlling quality of coffee as well as marketing the product.

The occasion was witnessed by stakeholders including students and teachers of participating schools, coffee farmers, provincial agriculture and education officials, and invited guests.

Coffee curriculum advisor Dr Arnold Parapi, who is in charge of implementing this CIC innovation, explained that the nursery package for participating schools would allow students to carry out practicals in the field rather than in the classroom.

 “It is a field laboratory,” he said.

Brian Waranduo and Samuel Pongiwa, principals of Burgam High School and Yangoru Secondary School respectively, said they saw a bright future for the coffee industry in the province.

Schools that are participating in the coffee curriculum pilot programme in the province are Burgam, Kubalia and Maprik high schools; Yangoru Secondary; and Negri and Banik primary schools.

Simon Peter, chairman of Maprik High School Board and a former CIC employee, countered that ‘”CIC officers are no longer sleeping with farmers” as was the case in the past.

East Sepik was the leading Robusta coffee producer until the intrusion of vanilla when farmers started abandoning their coffee gardens.

 However, according to East Sepik Coffee Cooperative chairman Jerry Anisi, production in the province was bouncing back.

“We may see East Sepik coffee regaining its status as the No. 1 producer of Robusta coffee in the near future,” he said.

“The coffee curriculum with its nursery package in pilot schools will skill the students – the future coffee farmers - to increase production in the province.”

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