By ZACHERY PER
NEWLY-appointed Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) chief executive officer Navi Anis says coffee production needs to be increased and quality enhanced for the industry to grow.
“Since CIC’s inception in 1991 to today, production has generally been about one million bags with a record high of over 1.3 million bags in 1998 and 1999.
“The average production was 1.05 million bags of 60kg green bean bags between 2003 and 2008 with a record low of 802,850 bags in 2006.
“The monetary value of exports remained at about K450 million on average for the last 10 years.
“The general decline may be attributed to no significant rehabilitation of old trees and new plantings,” he said.
Mr Anis said smallholders contributed 84% to 87% of the total production and had remained the backbone of the industry.
“Internationally, from the 16 top coffee producing countries that supply 92 % of the world’s market, Papua New Guineas is ranked 16th although we have been exporting coffee longer than others.
“Our production is only 1% of the world market. Our coffee exports are declining at a rate of 2% per annum while others are increasing production and quality,” he added.
Mr Anis spoke in a media briefing after formally taking office as chief executive officer yesterday.
Acting Agriculture Minister and Housing Minister Andrew Kumbakor was among others who witnessed Mr Anis taking office in Goroka.
Mr Anis thanked MPs for their support in the appointment, saying “the position comes with huge responsibility and I hope to live up to expectations”.
“I will hold myself accountable to ensuring that services are delivered with better utilisation of available resources to grow this industry.
“I do not come with magical powers but it will take time, efforts and resources to ensure growth with new plantings,” he added.
Mr Kumbakor congratulated Mr Anis and called for support from industry stakeholders and elected leaders to help double production up to two million bags.
He said K1 million for agriculture development was in the hands of every Member of Parliament and urged them to contribute effectively to the industry’s growth.