COFFEE Industry Corporation chief executive officer Ricky Mitio has brushed aside a prominent agriculture scientist’s call to replace him.
Mr Mitio in a statement said he doubted whether there were any candidates available at this time who would take over from him.
“I realise that no-one is indispensable, but I cannot accept what has been alleged by my critic that I have been in the chair for too long,” Mr Mitio said.
“For a scientist to make such statement is incredible.
“It would make more sense to ask how long a piece of string is.
“Seriously, experience is the best teacher, and being in on job for a long time provides experience for the incumbent, which would make him a better person for the position and not the reverse.”
Mr Mitio also refuted the scientist’s claim of the CIC being in decline under his term.
“This is misrepresentation of the actual situation as to coffee production in PNG,” he said.
“When I began, the industry produced only 500, 000 bags per annum, while it peaked at 1.1 million bags in 1998 and it is presently running at 1.2 million bags per annum.
“It is not correct to say that a decline has occurred at all, let alone that I should be the person responsible for such decline.”
Mr Mitio said that if the argument was that the increase should have been greater, the critic should acknowledge what CIC was doing to improve production.
He said if the scientist had a grievance, he should be “man enough” to step out of the shadows and say what was his problem, instead of attacking him through the media.
“If he, or anyone else, has the aspiration to take over what I think is an unenviable position, let them step up and present their qualifications and be judged by the NEC as to their suitability, but in the mean time, let me get on with my job,” Mr Mitio said.