COFFEE growers in Lamari and Yelia, in the Obura-Wonenara district of Eastern Highlands province, are still transporting tonnes of coffee to the market two months even after the peak of coffee season has ended.
According to local coffee buyer and grower Vira Tindia, there are still more coffee bags stranded in remote villages of Baira Kokombira, Agena, and parts of Wonenara because they could not be brought to the market due to bad roads.
Two weeks ago, Mr Tindia managed to bring over 150 bags from Kokombira to Goroka for husking and sale later.
Transporting his coffee had cost him dearly, he said.
Mr Tindia said despite the poor road conditions and the huge risks involved, he did what had to be done to give some business to the people in Goroka and to contribute to the country’s exports.
He said while there was so much talks from the Government and the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) about the K3 million coffee rehabilitation fund for the district, it has yet to be realised.
“If we can produce quality organic coffee, the Government must show some concern for us by helping us with our coffee production,” he said.
Lamari villager Mek Hongee pointed out the law and order issues that were of huge concern to the villagers which he said were a big hindrance to the industry’s development.
He called on the youths from Andadara, Barabuna and Norikori to stay away from criminal activities and work the fertile land instead, to earn an honest living.