The National- Thursday, January 20, 2011
USINO-Bundi MP Samson Kuli has given K75,000 as seed capital to 80 Megari small-holder coffee growers in the hope of building a coffee mill in Walium.
Gakana Buna, a local businessman and farmer from Emegari, received the cheque and thanked Kuli for the assistance.
According to Usino Bundi sub-district manager, John Kari, Kuli had spent close to K5 million out of his district support improvement programme funds.
Buna said the formation of their group in 2000 attempted to source funding for extension plans from either the National Agriculture Development Plan (NADP) or Rural Development Bank, had been unsuccessful, forcing growers to give up.
Since then, a total of 48,000 Arabica coffee trees were planted but without a coffee processing mill, growers, even in the Gama LLG, had to walk several days to Jimi in Western Highlands just to bring their coffee to Chuave in Chimbu.
“We share the border with Jimi in the Western Highlands and Chimbu and Madang coffee is going out to these two provinces,” Buna said.
He stressed that Madang was losing millions from derivation grants that did not promote agriculture.
Buna said he would ensure lending facilities and other extension services were provided for through the K75,000 seed capital given to source counterpart funding for a mill.
Three allotments of land in Kamdai had already been secured from landowners for the facility.