By PETER ESILA
Goroka-based coffee company Nowek Ltd wants to see more local women involved in the industry.
Nowek Ltd is a local family-owned business that has been in the coffee industry in Papua New Guinea for over 40 years.
General manager Ben Shelley said the free coffee seedlings project was an initiative by the founder of Nowek Ltd Terry Shelley.
“His vision to implement education of coffee farming and giving free seedlings into the local school curriculum and villages dates back over 20 years,” he said.
“We are proud to be part of converting the vision into a reality, creating real visible growth for our people’s future.
“The aim of the project is to give back to the local farmer.
“Our aim is to provide minimum of 100,000 seedlings every year to school students and farmers throughout the Highlands of PNG.”
Distribution as of Aug 12, were 35,535 free seedlings delivered.
Shelley said Nowek Ltd was looking at purchasing and installing five new 20x8m galvanised steel prefabricated greenhouse kits to cater for the 100,000 seedlings output per annum.
“The new greenhouses will have installed easy-to-use irrigation system, double front-door access and proper drainage and footpaths,” he said.
“Our main target this year will be to deliver more seedlings to primary and secondary schools, and offer to teach students the basics in growing, maintenance and the importance of coffee in Papua New Guinea.”
Director Lynn Shelley said: “We have a large local coffee supplier base allowing us to produce 50,000 to 70,000 x 60kg bags of green bean coffee per annum.
“We hope to one day connect the farmer directly with the overseas market, allowing for a better price to be given back to the local coffee farmer. We have continuously supported the coffee industry in various ways: From building coffee mills and coffee nurseries to importing and installing coffee machinery from as far as Europe and South America.
“We acknowledge coffee as the ‘backbone’ of the highlands of PNG.
“It is a renewable commodity that continues to empower the local farmers and businesses year after year. In 2016 we installed green houses on our sun-drying fields at Kamaliki, outside Goroka and began planting and eventually delivering free coffee seedlings the same year.”
By PETER ESILA