District buying coffee at K4 per kilo to encourage farmers


THE Maprik development authority (MDDA), through its business arm, will now be buying coffee directly from farmers at a subsidised price, local MP and Minister for Agriculture and Livestock John Simon says.
Simon committed K150,000 for the Maprik Investment Ltd to immediately start purchasing robusta coffee beans at K4 per kilogram.
He said the district had the potential to significantly increase its coffee production and initiatives such as the coffee subsidy would encourage farmers to focus on their coffee plots.
At the moment Maprik is one of four districts in Central Sepik that produces coffee; while standing at 7,000kg of bean production a year, as alluded by Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) extension officer David Elmai, there was still space for production growth.
According to CIC, the annual return from coffee in Central Sepik was estimated at K500,000.
Simon said this method of directly purchasing would ensure farmers were paid immediately.
According to CIC’s Maprik office, farmers in Sepik central including Maprik, had participated in almost 30 sales between 2006 and 2017.
During that 11-year period, farmers produced 15,600 bags of green beans bringing in over K4 million in foreign exchange.
Farmers had a net income of over K3 million while the remaining monies amounting to over a million kina was paid to marketing, processing and export firms.
“Just by looking at the data provided – farmers can earn more if the many processes are cut off and their products are paid for directly,” Simon said.
Meanwhile, another K25,000 was presented to the Sepik coffee mill to go toward their electricity and water bills.
The mill had temporarily halted operation due to unpaid bills.
Simon said the payment was made from monies derived from the Maprik Investment Ltd.