By ZACHERY PER
A GROUP of coffee growers is requesting the government to release the funds it promised to fight the coffee berry borer.
The farmers are members of the Apo Angra Angna Kange (AAAK), the largest coffee co-operative in the Highlands region.
The Government had promised to allocate K20 million to the campaign to eradicate the borer.
AAAK general manager Brian Kuglame said the pest was affecting coffee gardens in Jiwaka and Eastern Highlands.
He said the coffee industry had been under threat since the incursion of borer in February this year.
It was first detected in Jiwaka before it spread to Eastern Highlands.
Kuglame said the government had committed K20 million to fight the pest but the money was yet to reach the Coffee Industry Corporation.
“The government must immediately release the K20 million to fight the CBB,” he said.
“It is now spreading at an alarming rate affecting many coffee gardens.
“We need to take up an aggressive fight before it destroys the coffee industry.”
The call was also made by the chairman of the productive partnership in agriculture projects coffee component Ian Mopafi.
Kuglame said the borer incursion had been here for more than six months and the Coffee Industry Corporation and National Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Authority was trying to contain it.
“If no funding is made available, the coffee industry in Papua New Guinea is now under the mercy of the CBB,” he said.
By ZACHERY PER