Co-op assists local coffee farmers

National

By JIMMY KALEBE
THE Ilahalai Organic Coffee Ltd (IOCL), a co-operative group from Biaru in Wau rural Morobe, has for two years helped local farmers transport and market their coffee.
It praised Bulolo MP Sam Basil for the support he has given to see their produce achieve benefits for them.
Basil has been assisting farmers through partnering Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) with Bulolo District Authority to work with farmers.
IOCL chairman Kowari Korang told The National that with a district-funded vehicle and assistance from CIC, they were able to transport their coffee to markets.
He said last year they produced 777 bags of dried beans that fetched more than K200,000.
CIC is setting up a K8,500 nursery for 12,500 seedlings at Ilabu village, Ward 17, Wau rural, to supply at least 1,000 farmers in the Biaru area.
Korang said CIC was also establishing markets for direct export to markets in Australia and Germany.
The farmers promised to supply IOCL with 1,000 bags of dried beans to export overseas.
“We are very happy now that we can market our produce overseas and that will make us good income to support our livelihoods,” Korang said.
“In the ’90s, we had to walk almost 300km to sell our coffee and received very little.
“Now, because of upgraded infrastructure, training and market opportunities by CIC, our morale is high.”

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