By AUGUSTINE DOMINIC of CIC
The destructive coffee berry borer (CBB) is likely to be detected inside the
Coffee Industry Corporation’s acting general manager for research and grower services , Dr Mark Kenny, warned that the PNG coffee industry - which generates about K500 million annually for the country through export revenue - would crumble if the vicious insect was not contained and left the border areas for the major coffee-growing provinces of Eastern Highlands, Western Highlands, Simbu and Morobe.
Dr Kenny said that the full report of a joint delimiting survey currently initiated in the border areas by CIC and the National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA) would be completed by the end of July and it (report) would establish if CBB was present in PNG or not.
“The report will establish if CBB is present in the PNG side of the border or not, but upon preliminary findings, the presence of CBB is likely to be detected in the border areas,” he said.
“And if it enters the major coffee-growing areas of PNG, our coffee industry will be greatly affected in the similar manner in which the cocoa pod borer did to cocoa in
He said CBB had not been detected in the major coffee-growing provinces of PNG, according to a CBB survey report of Madang, Eastern Highlands,
Dr Kenny said it would cost up to K10 million to contain the insect in the border areas of Telefomin, Vanimo Green and Vanimo districts and over K100 million to save the whole PNG coffee industry, mainly through carefully-executed coffee hygiene programmes inclusive of coffee rehabilitation, and also through rebuilding of the research and grower services division of CIC which is currently unable to perform its mandated function due to lack of government funding support.
“Apart from other technical measures taken to address the CBB issue, a proposal to contain CBB is being prepared and will be submitted soon to the government for funding consideration,” he said.
Dr Kenny urged farmers to quickly report any sightings of holes in coffee berries to the CIC office in their respective province or telephone (675) 537 3511/3518 and fax (675) 537 3524.