City cold chain facility opens

Minister for Agriculture and Livestock John Simon opening the cold chain supply and storage facility in the presence of Chimbu Governor Michael Dua (right) and Kundiawa-Gembogl MP and Police Minister William Gogl Onglo.

KUNDIAWA-Gembogl District in Chimbu now has the first agriculture cold chain supply and storage facility in Papua New Guinea.
The new storage facility at 8-Mile in Port Moresby is now open for business to city residents and business houses.
Papua New Guineans can now get their fresh produce like potatoes, bulb onions, cabbage, carrot, caulie flower and broccoli in bulk at the storage facility.

Chimbu Governor Michael Dua (front), Minister for Agriculture and Livestock John Simon and Kundiawa-Gembogl MP William Gogl Onglo inside one of the cold, chilling freezer containers.

A bag of potatoes is currently selling at K180, a cabbage bag is K180 as well while bulb onions cost K150, and broccoli, caulie flower and carrots are sold by the kilogram.
More than 80 council presidents from Kundiawa-Gembogl were flown from Chimbu to Port Moresby to witness the opening of the facility. The cold chain supply concept is the brainchild of the Member for Kundiawa-Gembogl and Minister for Police William Gogl Onglo.
Minister Onglo’s drive to invest in agriculture to economically empower his people is now paying dividends. Subsistence farmers in villages of the district are now earning weekly income through the sale of their produces.
Trucks loaded with cold, chilling containers travel up to the district daily to buy the farmers’ fresh produce. Onglo has assured his farmers that the district would continue to buy their fresh produce during the election period irrespective of their political alliances.
Speaking during the opening, Onglo said: “This facility will become the first cold, chill storage depot for PNG. We will store the fresh produce here and export them. This depot that we created here will become the distribution centre for all food in the country.”
He said in three years only the district has achieved great results in economically empowering people through agriculture.
During his five years in office, the Kundiawa-Gembogl MP’s biggest challenge was to get his people to work on their land.
“I am trying to get our people to work on their land but they are not listening.”
Mr Onglo said the agriculture project in the district was end to end, “meaning we are looking at farmers and also we try to setup distribution, cold chain supply and logistics as well.”
Onglo thanked God for his blessings in all the projects they did during his first term.

The cold chain supply and storage facility at 8-Mile in Port Moresby.

The district’s agriculture project was launched in 2018 in Golgme station, Gembogl by the former ambassador of the Republic of Korea to PNG Kang Kym-Gu.
From 2018, the district signed a K1 million agreement with Fresh Produce Development Agency (FPDA) to commence their agriculture project.
Onglo said it cost about K400,000 to set up all the 81 cooperatives in the district.
He said FPDA trained local villagers on how to do farming and seed production as well.
“You can run farming but then you will need seeds and if you have the basis of seeds production, you can consistently supply your farm.
“I would like to thank the seed growers of potatoes especially,” said the MP.
“I am proud to say that in this country, Kundiawa/Gembogl electorate are now producers of potato seeds in PNG.

  • Michael Boeo is a freelance writer.

Magitu bridge opened

CIC-PPA Programme Manager Potaisa Hombunaka, CIC Operations Manager Steven Tumae, Unggai-Bena MP Benny Allan, CIC Senior Policy and Planning officer at the bridge opening last Tuesday.

THE long-awaited Magitu bridge in Eastern Highlands was officially opened on Tuesday May 1 in the presence of the Magitu community, government representatives, CIC team and the Unggai-Bena MP Benny Allan.
For eight years, people in the Lower Bena area of Eastern Highlands Province suffered silently as they struggled to reach Goroka town to access basic goods and services due to the collapse of the bridge in 2014.
With the assistance of the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) and the Unggai-Bena District Development Authority (DDA), the fallen Magitu bridge in Bena hs been rebuilt and will now fully serve its purpose to assist more than 30, 000 people in the area.
CIC Chief Operations Officer Steven Tumae acknowledged the support of the Unggai- Bena MP, the Government through the Department of Treasury and National Planning for making funds available and for other partners such as the World Bank-funded Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (PPAP) for assisting with procurement procedures for the construction materials to commence work in 2020.
He said the bridge would now serve coffee farmers and farming communities in Magitu, Sogopehu, Katagu, Lahame, Hofaga, Sakanuga, Bagahinupa, Sekagu, and Sozugu, all in the Lower Bena LLG.
“We need productive public-private partnerships to deliver vital infrastructure services to our rural people. This bridge will help your children to go to school, for you to bring your vegetables to the market safely and for access to other basic services,” Tumae said.
Unggai-Bena MP Benny Allan, on behalf of his people, thanked CIC and its partners for successfully delivering this vital project.
“Thank you CIC and all partners who have joined hands to support this project that has connected our communities once again.”
Kafa Sese, a local farmer in the Magitu area, shed tears of joy when thanking CIC and partners for the bridge.

The 30-meter Magitu bridge.

“We have waited for the last eight years for this day to come. We are so pleased and cannot contain the joy that is within us. Thank you CIC and all who have supported this project to come to fruition. We really appreciate it.”
Local woman Mamito Naga from Magitu village said for eight years, mothers with bags loads of garden produce have strgugled and others have carried sick children and crossed the Magitu River to get to town.
“When the bridge collapsed, mothers continued to cross the river carrying garden produce and our sick kids to go to town. Our husbands would hold our hands while we supported our food bilums and kids with the other hand to cross over.
“In the evenings, they would come back to help us. Some have drowned in this river trying to cross over and we are grateful to you CIC and the DDA for coming to our aid to fix this important bridge,” Naga said.
CIC-PPAP Manager Potaisa Hombunaka said the 30-meter bridge was built at the cost of K1.2 million, with part funding of K500,000 from the DDA and K700, 000 from CIC.
“The support from CIC is from the GoPNG PIP funding under Coffee Access Roads following PPAP’s successful construction of Department of Works-standard roads in Eastern Highlands, Jiwaka and Western Highlands.”

  • Cora Moabi is the media officer with the PNG Coffee Industry Corporation