Church helping to airlift coffee

Business

By ZACHERY PER

A DEAL between the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) and Seventh-day Adventist Aviation has seen the air-freighting of 20.7 tonnes of coffee from the remote areas of Madang and Morobe.
CIC’s coffee freight surety coordinator Ben Lohe said under the arrangement, they were able to freight coffee parchment weighing 20,753 kgs (20.7 tonnes) from Teptep, Gogiok, Sapmanga, Yawan and Bungawat.
He said the programme was able to reduce by 11 per cent the cost by locating the aircraft at Gusap. The 21 trips cost K98,000.
Lohe said freighting coffee from remote locations only accessible by air using light aircraft continued to be a challenge for many rural farmers because of the high freight costs.
“With these challenges, CIC continues to implement its freight subsidy programme as an incentive scheme. It tries to look at other options to save costs and in return increase farmers’ income,” he said.
In March, an arrangement was made with the adventist aviation services based in Goroka for the CIC to position their aircraft at the Gusap airstrip in Ramu valley to uplift coffee from airstrips in Raicoast district in Madang and Kabwum district in Morobe.
The Gusap airstrip was identified as an ideal location to position the planes to freight coffee from Kabwum, Raicoast, Usino-Bundi and lower Middle Ramu districts.
An average charter from Dinangat in Kabwum district to Nadzab costs K5000. But to Gusap it is K4600.
The coffee belongs to farmer groups under the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Programme in the Yus LLG in Kabwum. The coffee is processed and sold overseas.
CIC chief executive Charles Dambui said coffee from rural areas could not be sent to trading depots due to transportation difficulties.

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