The National – Monday, January 31, 2011
By YVONNE HAIP
PEOPLE in Enga’s Wapenamanda district last Friday witnessed the launch of one of the biggest coffee projects, an initiative of local MP Miki Kaeok.
This project is set to benefit the people by generating millions in revenue to coffee farmers in the district every year.
In the long run more than 7,500 tonnes of coffee are expected to be produced each year, and generate more than K30 million annually for coffee farmers.
This was made known during the dual celebrations of the opening of the central coffee nursery and the launch of the Wapenamanda coffee development and rehabilitation project.
A total of 500,000 coffee seedlings of the Arusha variety will be initially distributed to more than 1,000 interested growers.
The nursery has a yearly production capacity of 500,000 coffee seedlings.
It also has a commercial value of more than K1 million on the local market but these seedlings will be given free to coffee farmers, and will take up a newly planted area of more than 300ha.
Kaoek announced that part of the project’s aim was to plant up to 10 million new coffee trees in the district over the next five years, while at the same time undertake rehabilitation to improve existing coffee gardens.
He challenged the people to engage in agricultural activities and sustain themselves as it was the only way money could be generated.
Kaoek said coffee was the district’s green-gold and people should grow the cash crop as it had potential to change different aspects of the lives of people.
Also present during the occasion were Foreign Affairs Minister Don Polye, coffee industry cooperation representatives and other provincial leaders.
Agricultural supplies, including 300 coffee pulpers, 300 pumps, 250 prunning saws, 400 litres of gramoxine, 4,000 litres of round ups, 100 pairs of gum boots, 300 pairs of hand gloves, 300 face masks and 300 secateurs, will be given out with 500,000 coffee seedlings and seeds, free of charge.