By CORA MOABI
IN 2010, a female coffee farmer from Hofro village in the Dunatina area of Eastern Highlands began her coffee journey with a reputable exporter in Goroka by selling only six green bean bags of coffee.
Little did she know that after 11 years of consistently supplying good quality coffee to the exporter, she would see great improvement in her living standard.
Moanti Ise, 38, from Hofro in Henganofi District is now the owner and director of Moanti Coffee.
From a humble beginning as a simple coffee buyer, she began purchasing coffee from her community in 2010, processes the coffee and selling it to Monpi Coffee Exports Ltd, a leading coffee exporter in Goroka.’
Under Monpi’s Sustainable Management Services (SMS-PNG) programme, it works closely with its suppliers on a variety of extension services. Throughout the years, it has delivered tailor-made training modules focused on the best agricultural, environmental and social practices and guides and support the network partners to deliver the best coffee it can produce for its specific markets.
Moanti Coffee has been part of that journey.
During a visit in November this year to the Bihute Correctional Service institute, it was evident that an active partnership between the prison and Monpi had been in place enabling the inmates to help set up an 18, 000-capacity coffee nursery for the Monpi- SMS programme.
Moanti Coffee has been working with Monpi-SMS for the last 11 years and the trip to CIS-Bihute was one of the good things Monpi-SMS had undetartaken for its network partners.
Moanti went there to collect part of its 5,000 coffee seedling allocation for its farmers. A total of 1,923 seedlings were collected that day to bring to farmers in Henganofi to use as infillings and new plantings.
CIS-Bihute warden Sergeant Major Adoga Kwaieloi said the partnership between the institute and Monpi-SMS was beneficial for both parties as it provided a learning point for detainees to make something worthwhile whilst serving their time at the institute.
“As part of the detainee rehabilitation programme, we train them (inmates) in different projects such as piggery, poultry, coffee nurseries and other lifelong skills to help them fit into society after life here,” Adoga said.
According to Monpi’s SMS manager Alexandre de Dinechin, the established nursery contains seedlings of Typica, Arusha and Mundonovo coffee varieties.
Work on the nursery started in November 2020 and continued into the months of April and May 2021 where seeds were sown and later pre- germination occurred in May.
Monpi-SMS is dedicated to developing sustainable supply chains and advocates the responsible production and trade of coffee with respect for people and the environment.
Moanti Network is one of the many untold and successful stories of simple farmers that have been given the right support and resources to take them to the next level in life that is evident in improved living standards compared to where they began.
When speaking with Moanti during the seedling collection, she expressed her greatest satisfaction and gratitude towards the Monpi-SMS programme.
“This is not just a one-sided programme but as a farmer I have been given the support in the right areas enabling me to progress in the coffee business. One of the advantages for farmers like me is that we are assisted with advances after faithfully and consistently supplying our best produce to them. With commercial banks, we face difficulties most times with the stringent requirements.”
Looking back at supplying only six green bean bags 11 years ago, Moanti is proud to say that her group is able to supply 7,000 bags at present to the Monpi- SMS programme.
“Our standard of living has improved. This business and partnership has opened doors for me to now own a vehicle, purchase land, set up a dry mill, pay for my six children’s school fees and most importantly leave my full time paid job and now focus on this business. It is a win-win situation for all involved and I commend the Monpi-SMS programme for that.”
Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) acting CEO Charles Dambui says Monpi’s SMS programme is highly commended for such a sustainable programme, which is really giving back to farmers they work with and helping them improve their livelihoods.
• Cora Moabi is the media and public relations officer at the Coffee Industry Corporation.