Coffee group seeks better farm-to-market road

Business, Normal

The National, Wednesday 01st Febuary 2012

BETTER roads are needed to boost Robusta coffee production in the East Sepik province.
East Sepik Coffee Group chairman Titus Auna told a coffee show in Lae that many coffee farmers were in the rural areas but those in the Maprik, Wosera/Gawi, Ambunti/Drekikir and Nuku districts were being discouraged from growing coffee because of poor road conditions to get their product to markets.
Auna said the province had about 46 coffee cooperative groups, which proved the potential to increase production.
However, it was very costly to get coffee from each district in East Sepik province into Wewak and then to Lae.
Auna urged the government and potential investors to consider setting up a green bean factory in Wewak.
He said farmers were generally happy with the income from group coffee marketing despite the long delay in getting their funds.
 Auna thanked Maprik MP Gabriel Kapris for supporting coffee work by allocating a total of K70,000 for the coffee nursery and rehabilitation for his district.
 He said more similar funding into coffee was  also needed to boost production.
The East Sepik Coffee Group started in 2006 and has reached an annual export rate of about 3,000 bags with assistance from Kundu Coffee Exports based in Lae.