Friday, March 12, 2010

Conservative coffee farming a way to go

Caption: The forests of Yus are critical habitats for Huon (or Matschie’s) tree kangaroos, an endangered species that is one of Earth’s unique creatures




 Coffee Industry Corporation’s extensive extension services have paid off again following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Programme (TKCP in Lae, Morobe province. 

 TKCP is a programme of the Woodland Park Zoo, a non-profit organisation based in Seattle, Washington, United States of America.

 It has offices in Lae and Cairns, Australia.

The TKCP works closely with Conservation International (CI) and other like organisations in PNG and throughout the world.

The MOU should see coffee farmers in the Yupna, Urawa and Som (YUS) areas of the Kabwum district producing coffee grown under environmental conservative practices that target gourmet coffee buyers who value such systems and offer premium prices.

 CIC’s extension services and firm commitment to local development through coffee shares the same vision as TKCP to improve the livelihood of communities.

The MOU outlines the philosophies through which TKCP and CIC Ltd intend to work together over the next two years.

It focuses on delivering a series of technical trainings on garden management and quality improvement to coffee growers around the YUS Conservation Area of Kabwum district, under the broad project goal of improving livelihoods through coffee sales.

Given its isolation from main centers, the YUS areas derive their income from minor sales of fresh food and coffee.

 All smallholder coffee growers there are accessible only by air transport thus growers would be mobilised into groups to attain maximum possible income.

The CIC appreciates the opportunity to work with TKCP and to integrate conservation and landscape planning into its extension programmes.

This partnership should pave the way for CIC to gain an understanding of conservation in coffee production and an add-on to their much-admired extension services throughout PNG.



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