Coffee plantations don’t exist anymore, agro group says


COFFEE plantations in the country are now non-existent, says the Agriculture Working Group. Providing an update yesterday during a business conference, chairman Dr Mathew Kanua said coffee exports were mainly from smallholder farmers. Dr Kanua said the main issue faced by smallholder coffee farmers and their products was accessibility.
“One of the biggest challenges now is that the plantation sector in the coffee industry is gone,” Dr. Kanua said. “It has disappeared and therefore the national exportable coffee is run by the smallholders. “It’s the smallholder coffee that we need to get and getting these coffee out of these smallholders in various places is quite challenging. “In 2017 we did a survey and went to the highlands where we found out that in coffee growing areas in Western Highlands, in Central, Jiwaka, and Asaro Valley in Eastern Highlands, plantations are no longer there. “A lot of resources in the coffee sector are now taken away from the coffee sector and are given to food crops. “Some of the crops are getting a lot of attention in terms of resources investment such as vegetables (high value) such as broccolis and cauliflower, carrots and all of those things. “Sweet potato is becoming very intensive in the highlands and is shopped to all over PNG and the production numbers are very high. So coffee is now losing out.”