Coffee farmers call for training


SMALL holder coffee farmers in Yaria area of Imbonggu district, Southern Highlands, have called for extension services and training assistance from the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) to increase their production.
Their spokesman Steven Apa said many small coffee growers in the province were keen to learn the best coffee growing and production practices, but no one was providing such services to them.
Apa cited the example of villagers not using proper tools to prune coffee tree, but bush knives and even axes to remove unwanted branches thereby destroying coffee trees.
He said people were using unconventional tools such as stones, timber and other implements to pulp cherry beans to produce parchment.
Apa said this resulted in poor quality beans that were cracked or broken.
Another farmer Mathew Yanda, who previously orked as an extension officer with the CIC, said unlike farmers in other coffee producing provinces, those in Southern Highlands were not familiar with the basics of good coffee production.

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