Budget making growers happy


THE largest smallholder coffee grower’s cooperative in the Highlands region has applauded the government for allocating K665.9 million towards agriculture in the 2018 Budget.
Apo Angra Angna Kange (AAAK) Coffee Corporative general manager Brian Kuglame described the allocation as a vote of confidence in the agriculture and economic sector.
He said the government was investing a lot of money to grow the national economy.
The members of the AAAK Coffee Corporative in Eastern Highlands, Chimbu, Jiwaka and Western Highlands now felt that their efforts had been recognised.
The four provincial chairmen of the cooperative Nicholas Ello (Apo for Eastern Highlands), Jerry Kimam (Angra for Chimbu), Pastor Kombugl Kansiye (Angna for Jiwaka) and Stanley Konga (Kange for Western Highlands) agreed with Kuglame.
Ello said the coffee industry was battling the coffee berry borer which was destroying coffee trees in Eastern Highlands, Chimbu and Jiwaka.
“On behalf of members of Apo Coffee Corporative in Eastern Highlands, I appreciate the approach of the Government to allocate K5 million,” he said.
Kimam said agriculture remained the backbone of the economy and the investment would benefit farmers including coffee growers.
“The current Government’s move to support agriculture in supporting the small people in the village and it is a welcome move,” he said.
Pastor Kansiye said the money should be used to revive some of the abandoned coffee plantations in the highlands to boost production.
Konga said the government was serious about economic growth and everyone support it by working hard to increase production, especially the export earning commodities like coffee.