Agriculture receives K200 million
By MALUM NALU
THE Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) receives K118 million in the 2022 Budget, a massive leap from K58 million in 2021, which emphasises the importance the Marape Government is placing on this sector.
This funding includes:
- K20 million for Commodity Price Stabilisation (Price Support Programme) and Agriculture Intervention;
- K48 million for Market for Village Farmers Project; and
- K20 million for PNG Agriculture Commercialisation and Diversification Project.
Apart from the DAL’s budget allocation, a total of K82 million has been allocated separately by the Government to support the major agriculture industries of coffee, cocoa, coconut, fresh produce and oil palm, particularly targeting out smallholder farmers with a strong focus on downstream processing.
This takes the total Government support to agriculture in the 2022 Budget up to K200 million.
The total investment in the commodities is:
- K17 million for coffee;
- K16 million for cocoa;
- K15 million for coconut;
- K12 million for fresh produce;
- K10 million for oil palm smallholder roads; and
- K12 million for fresh produce and market value chain.
Price Support Programme
The Price Support Programme (PSP) is a critical initiative undertaken by the Government to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on the agriculture sector and to provide economic stimulus.
This means growers or farmers get a better price on the produce to increase in both production and exports.
The PSP started in 2020 with K50 million from the National Budget appropriation followed by K24 million in 2021 parked under DAL for administration of funds.
The DAL, under a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) arrangement between the DAL, farmers and commodity boards, has released the PSP funds to farmers under the terms and conditions stipulated in the MOU.
Market for Village Farmers Project
The Market for Village Farmers Project, funded by an International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) loan, aims to improve the livelihoods of farming households by facilitating their transition to market-oriented production and farming as a business.
It will support the development of sustainable business partnerships, in which farmers will have secure and remunerative market options, and buyers will obtain a reliable and consistent supply of vegetables and other fresh produce.
The project will support six provinces: Eastern Highlands, Western Highlands, East New Britain, Jiwaka, Morobe and Chimbu.
Around 25,000 farming households (approximately 125,000 people) will directly benefit from the project’s work.
PNG Agriculture Commercialisation and Diversification Project
This is funded by the World Bank with counterpart funding from the PNG Government.
It is aimed at increasing the volume and value of agricultural exports, especially in coffee, cocoa, copra, spices and livestock, and improving the capacity of DAL and respective commodity boards.
- Malum Nalu works with the Office of the Prime Minister
Coffee group prepares for first export
By CORA MOABI
HATAVILLE Coffee Ltd in the Daulo, Eastern Highlands is expected to make its first export of a container to Korea this year.
General manager of Hataville Philip Timbie, said this comes after years of hard work and assistance from the Coffee Industry Corporation’s Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (CIC-PPAP).
“When we started doing coffee work, we were selling green bean locally from our coffee plantation here at Hataville but I wanted to go an extra mile, so we worked hard to improve production and most importantly quality”, Timbie said.
In October 2016, PPAP project partnered with Hataville, making them a lead partner and engaged them in the various rehabilitation, coffee quality production and marketing initiatives.
Prior to PPAP, Hataville already had a small plantation, small wet mill and a mini roasting facility and had produced roasted coffee under its own Hataville label as a single origin coffee coming from their plantation.
Having a banking background and a well-respected leader in his community, Timbie had a vision and that was to improve the level of income farmers were receiving in his community.
He said the support from CIC-PPAP really helped Hataville to reach out to farmers in his community.
“We are grateful for the different trainings delivered to us under the project and these included financial literacy, coffee quality, coffee husbandry, apiculture, and many others which has contributed to where we are today.”
He said the coffee warehouse in his village was built in 2018 with the assistance from the project. Whilst that was being built, Timbie envisaged having a facility that would enable him in the near future to export his coffee.
After much discussion and arrangement with an overseas Korean buyer, Timbie started sourcing coffee machinery for his dry mill with the help of his friend from Korea.
During a recent visit to Hataville, this was evident with much of the equipment already set up as a license was given to them in July by CIC to operate.
As Hataville coffee continues preparations for its first export to Korea, farmers have been busy for the last couple of weeks hand-sorting the green bean bags in their warehouse. Women and men came from nearby villages and put in all their effort in making sure they thoroughly sort out the bags.
Timbie said for now all he can say about this export is that the price offered by the buyer is very attractive and they are anticipating a good return from it.
CIC-PPAP project manager Potaisa Hombunaka said Hataville has been one of the top performing lead partners under the project and they have worked hard to come to this stage to export their first container. He added that PPAP has always advocated about the sustainability of projects and this is evident in the lead partners they have worked with.
“PPAP came this far and it has ended. Hataville coffee is one of the success story because PPAP funding has ended but this lead partners is now progressing onto exporting a container,” Hombunaka said.
He highlighted that in most development projects, when funding ends, there is no sustainability for groups or communities to progress a step further. He said PPAP was very vocal about putting up infrastructures and conducting trainings on producing quality coffee and coffee marketing with the groups and communities they worked with.
Timbie expressed his gratitude to the CIC- PPAP project in providing much needed trainings and also for supplying a range of tools and farm materials to more than 400 households in his community.
“To go into exporting is our first experience and if the buyer receives this shipment and is happy then it will be very good for us going forward,” he said.
The coffee rehabilitation is a government project through the Department of Agriculture and Livestock and implemented by the Coffee Industry Corporation Ltd through its project management unit widely known as CIC-PPAP. It is financed by a loan facility from World Bank and International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) with support funding from the Government of PNG. The project came to a close in May this year.
- Cora Moabi is the media and communication officer at PNG Coffee Industry Corporation