By ZACHERY PER
NATIONALLY-owned coffee exporting and roasting company Kongo Coffee expects to produce eight tonnes of export-quality green beans per hour early next year.
The increase will be four tonnes more than its current capacity of two, thanks to the K6.6 million grants from the National Development Bank (NDB).
The funding will see Kongo expand its coffee processing factory in Chuave, Simbu province.
NDB managing director Richard Maru said the K6.6 million given to Kongo Coffee came from the K20 million in the national agriculture development plan (NADP) of the National Government.
“We are happy to support Kongo Coffee – the largest locally-owned coffee exporting company in the country – which has proven over the years to be the best and rated No. 1,” Mr Maru said.
He noted that most of the country’s coffee beans were processed by foreign-owned entities.
Mr Maru said helping Kongo Coffee, which in turn helps growers, was consistent with the Government Vision 2050 of helping people improve their incomes.
The NDB team led by Mr Maru visited the factory last week.
Kongo Coffee owner Jerry Kapka told Mr Maru’s group that due to an increase in the volume of coffee being delivered to the factory, they have been encouraged to expand the facility.
Mr Kapka said it was difficult to secure needed financial backup for expansion and that he was grateful to NDB’s support.
Construction work at a new factory, which will house three separate green bean processing plants, is nearing completion.
Mr Kapka said once completed, they would be able to process six tonnes of green beans in an hour, thus complementing the present factory of two-tonne capacity.