Wednesday, September 23, 2020

A visit to Nowek Coffee Factory in Goroka


Nowek Coffee Factory General-Manager, Joe Shelley, takes us through the factory process from factory door to green bean ready for export.

The factory is at Kamaliki just outside of Goroka along the Highlands Highway.

 He also shows us what Nowek is doing to prop up PNG's declining coffee production, including supplying seedlings by the thousands, as well as increasing quality of its product.

Young gun of PNG's coffee industey


Young Joe Shelley, 32, is one of the young guns of PNG's coffee industry. 

He is now running  nationally-owned export company, Nowek, after the death of his father, Goroka coffee legend, Terry Shelley, in 2017. 

Joe is a precociously-talented young man who has fitted well into the shoes of his famous dad. 

Joe was in Australia when his father called him back to Goroka and passed on the reins. 

During a recent visit, Joe showed me around the Nowek Coffee Factory at Kamaliki, outside Goroka, and gave his frank views on the  status quo of the industry. 

His major concern is that coffee production is not increasing in PNG. 

Competition among Goroka exporters for the limited coffee available is intense. 

Nowek is helping to alleviate this issue by distributing coffee seedlings free of charge to people who want to get into growing coffee.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

54 years in Goroka... and counting...

In the morning of Sunday, September 13, 2020, at Kama in Goroka, I was privileged to be introduced to one of the pioneers of Goroka, 78-year-old Ebung Dambi from  Mape in Finschhafen, Morobe. 

His is an amazing story. 

Mr Dambi, who is related to the Zurenuoc family, first came to Goroka in 1966 as a plumber and has stayed here since. 

He married his Chimbu wife, Sinape, at North Goroka Lutheran Church in 1970. 

Mr Dambi reflects on 54 years in Goroka and his thoughts of the future.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Livestock Development Corporation takes charge of beekeeping industry

The Livestock Development Corporation (LDC) has taken charge of Papua New Guinea's lucrative beekeeping industry.
LDC Managing-Director Terry Koim and Executive-Chairman and Department of Agriculture and Livestock Secretary Daniel Kombuk announced this in Goroka on Thursday, September 10, 2020.
They also signed a memorandum-of-understanding with the Eastern Highlands Beekeepers' Association, the largest and most-organised grouping of beekeepers in the country, to progress the industry.
The beekeeping industry has up to now been run on an ad hoc basis by farmers themselves.

A look into PNG's beekeeping industry

The beekeeping industry in PNG is a small but lucrative one.
Farmers get K12 per kg of raw honey, which is more than coffee, or other agriculture produce.
Many years ago, we had a factory in Goroka which exported honey, but this is no more.
It is an industry we should develop as we celebrate 45 years of Independence.
Along the Highlands Highway, outside of Goroka, pioneer beekeeper and retired agriculturalist Ian Mopafi builds beehives and frames for sale to honey farmers in Eastern Highlands and other parts of the Highlands.
Here he shows us his operation and talks about the untapped potential of the beekeeping industry.

Zuguru Cattle Ranch beefed up with new vehicle

The Zuguru Cattle Ranch in Bena, Eastern Highlands, has been given a brand-new Toyota Land Cruiser vehicle to do its work.
The vehicle was handed by Livestock Development Corporation (LDC) Executive Chairman and Department of Agriculture and Livestock Secretary, Mr Daniel Kombuk, to
Zuguru Manager Mr Bobby Sogavo on Thursday, September 10, 2020.

The event was witnessed by LDC Managing-Director Mr Terry Koim, Director Mr Ian Mopafi, invited guests and locals.
It is part of the drive by the LDC to beef up Zuguru, and all LDC ranches in the country, in line with the vision of Prime Minister
James Marape
for PNG to be self-sufficient in beef production by 2025.

Zuguru Cattle Ranch, Bena, Eastern Highlands

The Department of Agriculture and Livestock is often disparaged as "Department of Agriculture and Deadstock".
Deadstock because the once-flourishing herds of cattle, sheep and other livestock are no more. Deadstock no more.

At Zuguru Cattle Ranch, in the Bena area of Eastern Highlands, a major cattle replenishment exercise and improvement of infrastructure is taking place.
This is in line with the vision of Prime Minister
James Marape
for PNG to be self-sufficient in beef and other livestock production by 2025.

Independence Day 2020 Flag Raising

 At this very spot exactly 45 years ago, on September 16, 1975, the Flag of Papua New Guinea was hoisted for the first time.

In the morning of Sepetmber 16, 2020, in a moving ceremony at Independence Hill officiated by Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, the Flag of PNG was raised to mark 45 years of Independence.

God Bless PNG today and into the future.

PM Marape's Independence Day Address 2020

 Prime Minister Hon. James Marape's inspiring 45th Independence Day Address delivered at Independence Hill in Port Moresby in the morning of September 16, 2020:

Menifo Sheep Research Station

Menifo Sheep Research Station in the beautiful countryside of Lufa, Eastern Highlands Province, is a far cry from what it used to be.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Menifo teemed with sheep, cattle, goats and other livestock with support from the New Zealand Government.

Such was the importance of Menifo that former New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon once visited the place.
Livestock grazing at Menifo could be seen from the air as planes came in for landing at Goroka Airport.
Sadly, Menifo is now rundown, with no more livestock.
The Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) plans to revive Menifo with the support of Livestock Development Corporation (LDC) and other commodity boards.
This is in line with the vision of Prime Minister
James Marape
for PNG to be self-sufficient beef and livestock production by 2025.
LDC Executive-Chairman and DAL Secretary Daniel Kombuk and Managing-Director Terry Koim visited Menifo on Friday, September 11, 2020.

Eastern Highlands beekeeping industry gets a boost

 An agreement has been signed between Livestock Development Corporation LDC) and Eastern Highlands' Beekeepers Association (IHBA) to develop the beekeeping (apiculture) industry in Eastern Highlands Province.

Eastern Highlands is the hub of the beekeeping industry in PNG.
The Memorandum of Understanding, signed in Goroka on September 11, 2020, provides for honey production and value chain operations in Eastern Highlands.
LDC provided initial funding of K5000 to increase capacity of the IHBA.
LDC will recruit a trained beekeeper to build the capacity of all stakeholders.

China Juncao and Upland Rice Technology Project in PNG

At a corner of North Goroka, in the capital of Eastern Highlands, a quiet agricultural revolution is taking place.
This is the home of the ‘China Juncao and Upland Rice Technology Project to PNG’ which is being run in collaboration with the Eastern Highlands Provincial Government.

Here, Chinese experts are carrying out work on Juncao Mushrooms, Upland Rice and an amazing grass with multiple uses known as ‘Lin Grass’.
The grass, which also enriches the soil, is used for mushroom propagation as well as feed for livestock including goats, sheep, cattle, horses, pigs, chicken and even fish.
The North Goroka base supplies mushrooms – which retail for up to K20 per kg at supermarkets - to Eastern Highlands farmers.
Upland Rice cultivation is already taking off in a big way in Goroka, Henganofi, Ungai-Bena, Daulo and Lufa districts of Eastern Highlands.
In May this year, a grand rice harvest officiated by Eastern Highlands’ Governor Peter Numu was held at Finintugu Village in Henganofi, where growers sold 148 bags of rice weighing 10.5 tonnes to the new Eastern Highlands Rice Co-operative.
The farmers then donated 1.5 tonnes of rice to the Chinese experts for distribution to other rice growers in Eastern Highlands.
This is the biggest rice project involving rural villagers in PNG and is very much in line with the vision of Prime Minister
James Marape
for the country to be self-sufficient in rice production by 2025.
On Friday, September 11, 2020, I accompanied Agriculture and Livestock Secretary Daniel Kombuk and Livestock Development Corporation Managing-Director Terry Koim to the Juncao base in North Goroka.

The soapmaker of Goroka

Goroka soap maker
Barclay Kaupa
is a real maverick.
I know Kaupa from my years in Goroka from 1998-2002, when my late wife and I were regular customers of his for fresh honey, as well as homemade soap and detergent for the house, and can vouch for their quality.

Despite being a Grade 10 dropout in 1984, Kaupa’s extensive use of the Goroka Public Library and the University of Goroka Library – through a lot of reading – helped him to start his honey and soap business.
Kaupa ran Jauka Honey, a small honey and soap-making set-up at Kama in Goroka, until business was affected by the bee mite in 2008.
In May 2005, he was named as best small business by the Small Business Development Corporation at the PNG Coffee Festival and Trade Fair and pocketed the K800 first prize.
Reading was the secret to the sweet success of his honey and soap-making business.
Kaupa, from Lapeigu village outside Goroka, completed his Grade 10 at Asaroka Lutheran High School in 1984 – with no offers for further education or employment.
In 1986, the disillusioned young man managed to secure a job with Lamana Wholesale in Goroka, a job he held until the company wound up in 1990.
He had a coffee plot at Lapeigu, and soon realised that he could have a sustained cash flow all year round, if he grew coffee and raised bees together.
Towards the end of 1996, the young beekeeper approached Benny Jauka, the owner of Gamesano Trading in Kama, for assistance to get the honey project off the ground.
Jauka Honey was distributed mainly in Goroka and Lae, where – through Rabtrad – was distributed by Andersons Foodland stores nationwide.
In August 1998, the innovative Kaupa ventured into soap production using bee wax.
It was trialed in the hauslains of Goroka by the people who mattered – mothers – and they gave it the thumbs up.
Thus was born the Nokorowa Soap.
The soap proved to be a big hit in Goroka, and was distributed throughout the highlands.
Towards the end of 1999, Kaupa ventured into yet another product, the Nokorowa Soap Powder.
The soap is ground up into fine powder, and then packed and sold as a grassroots alternative to the familiar Omo and Cold Power.
Nokorowa Soap Powder is now a familiar sight in the shops of Goroka.
Kaupa is a fervent believer in self-reliance and independence, and speaks out strongly against the handout mentality.
On September 12, 2020, while in Goroka, I visited his humble set-up at Kama and he showed me around.
Barclay Kaupa can be contacted on phones 75209847 and 75209847 and email