Locals enrich skills on spice, coffee farming

Lae News, Normal

THE Mainland Holdings Limited (MHL) group of companies subsidiary, Niugini Tea, Spice and Coffee Co, is promoting three coffee certification programmes for its rural farmers.
The certification programme is to enrich coffee and spice farmer skills to produce quality products based on healthy farming practices to maintain direct overseas buyers.
“The programmes includ rainforest alliance, organic and fair trade,” general manager Alyosha Reilly said yesterday.
The rainforest alliance involves farmers to enrich their skills meaningfully in sustaining soil and water condition with required shades and pruning of coffee trees.
Organic coffee restricts farmers from using chemicals on the plants.
Fair trade allows all the farmers to have direct link to overseas buyers. The money received from overseas buyers goes directly to the growers.
Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) mobile extension officer Michael Toliman said: “Interestingly, apart from the maximum coffee price per kilo at overseas markets (K7.50), every 60t within is regarded as the premium.”
The premium is intended to assist communities improve rural socio-economic infrastructures such as elementary and primary schools, water supplies, aid posts, roads and bridges, church buildings and other necessary community projects.
The premium, in some coffee producing areas is not going to the farmers because of the “farmer associations’” management decision.
He said the management of the farmer associations had to collaborate and utilise the CIC’s strategy to manage the coffee from “tree to cup”.
Mr Toliman said that after successful workshops held together with Secretariat of Pacific Commission (SPC) and MHL at Buang, Boana and Wantoat last month, the CIC would extend its working relationships with MHL to “achieve its many objectives”.