Eastern Highlands villagers to revive coffee production

The National, Thursday July 7th, 2016

A GROUP of villagers are reviving coffee production in their community in Eastern Highlands.
The villagers of Sakanuga launched the Libatihuto Coffee Cooperative.
Libatihuto in the Bena language means “kirapim ken (resurrect)”.
Lokia Hepi, who is behind the drive, said the plan was to use the cooperative to facilitate the processing and exporting of coffee on behalf of its farmers.
The community known for its thriving coffee production a decade ago is trying to revive that.
The area boasted some of the major plantations including Megusa, Bagahi, Hofaga, Siegere and Sigoya.
Hepi said the Libatihuto cooperative wanted to revive what they used to enjoy before.
He said there was a huge potential to increase the volume exported and improving quality through the group’s initiative of mobilising and reviving the run-down coffee plantations.
He said the community realised that there was a huge potential in the  coffee industry.
“The men in the village have already realised that with their coffee and land, there is potential for them,” he said.
The group was formed in 2012 and started group marketing in 2013.
Coffee Industry Corporation  general manager for research and extension Dr Mark Kenny told the villagers that for a community to change, they must first make it work.
“The wet factory and the coffee processing buildings will be rebuilt one day,” Kenny said.
“This will happen because you have already started this change in your village today.”