By PISAI GUMAR
MOROBE coffee growers have been told to stop taking their coffee bags to Goroka to sell for fast money but instead to use the production and refining facilities in Lae so they can export.
Manager of the productive partnership in agriculture project (PPAP) Potaisa Hombunaka said this when speaking to Kasuka coffee farmers in Wain-Erap in Nawaeb where he also started the distribution of 216,800 coffee seedlings to 813 households at Kalebo village last Thursday.
The PPAP is funded by the World Bank international fund for agriculture development (IFAD) and GoPNG and facilitated by Coffee Industry Corporation and Wia Trade Enterprise Ltd in Morobe.
“It is very shameful for Morobe to neglect the pains and struggles of local coffee farmers as they go after markets in Goroka; stop transporting coffee bags to Goroka instead put your foot down and do something real for coffee farmers” Hombunaka said.
“When will Morobe improve its coffee-producing capability as a leading coffee-producing province or would it like to remain second fiddle?” he said.
“There is no seaport in Goroka, instead the wharf is in Lae and why are Morobean’s delivering coffee bags to Goroka incurring additional costs and promoting Eastern Highlands?” Hombunaka said.
Hombunaka said the PPAP was happy to work in partnership with the Morobe division of agriculture and livestock (DAL) which caters for CIC extension within the division while WTE Ltd facilitates most of the PPAP programmes.
DAL acting programme adviser Ken Elonaga said it was sad to see partnerships and pilot programmes conducted in partnership with donor agencies without people and respective government agencies taking ownership.
By PISAI GUMAR