Lufa farmers adopt new coffee practices

Farming

SMALL growers from Mount Michael range in the Lufa District of Eastern Highlands are adopting new practices to produce high quality coffee – thanks to Coffee Industry Corporation’s rehabilitation initiative.
Close to 300 growers of Donito Village were part of 1500 households in Lufa district who were improving their gardens under CDA Goroka, a non-governmental organization implementing industry rehabilitation practices in a public-private partnership withCIC’s Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (CIC-PPAP).
During a recent visit by CICPPAP team last month, the growers were excited to show the team the coffee trees which was bearing many cherries of bigger size as a result of correct pruning that have been conducted with the supervision of extension officers working under CDA Goroka.
CIC-PPAP officer Alphy Semy said farmers used hand pulpers for wet processing of cherries with clean water from a river running through the village.
“The wet processed cherries were dried on raised or elevated beds.”
“Raised beds promote airflow,and thus they may promote even and rapid drying.
In other words, it’s clean, evenly dried and good-quality – a magictrio for better quality coffee that can command higher prices,”Semy said.
“Previously parchment drying usually takes place on the ground.”
“The CIC-PPAP team was impressed in the way the growers organised themselves by setting their own standards to maintain production of quality coffee.”“We have advised every farmer to follow new steps to produce and supply high quality parchment coffee for specialty market,” cluster leaders Tomati Simon and Don Peter said.
“We have advised every farmer not to bring low quality coffee which they can sell to roadside buyers.”
CIC-PPAP, Bill Humphrey was excited with the farmers’ efforts and willingness to adopt new approaches.He told them to bring samples to CIC office in Goroka for quality testing by a licensed Q-grader.
The highlight of the visit was the presentation of tools and materials to 64 growers.
CDA Goroka took charge of the purchase and delivery of bowsaws, bush knives, canvas, scissors or secateurs and hand coffee pulpers.
An elderly couple Mr and MrsOma were proud recipients whocame dressed in their best clothes for the occasion.
“Mipela amamas long kisim dispela ol samting blo wok gaden (Weare happy to receive these tools,”Oma said.
Farmers pay a five per cent fee ofK50 to take ownership of the tools.It cost a farmer around K1,000 to pay for all the tools and materials provided under the project.Project coordinator for CDA Goroka Janet Lali said they have linked up with processing firm Out span PNG who would send in experts to conduct a certification audit.
Lali said so far they have served 118 farmers in Lufa with basic coffee gardening tools.
The lead partner is also serving farmers in Unggai-Bena, Goroka and Daulo Districts of Eastern Highlands .
This coffee rehabilitation intervention was aimed at increasing yield and improving quality hence growers can earn more income to improve their well being.
It was a CIC project through the Department of Agriculture and Livestock financed by a loan facility from World Bank (IDA)and IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) with counter-funding from PNG Government.
The coffee team was excited to see growers building storage sheds or houses with raised beds inside to store their coffee.Under the conventional practice growers store coffee in the same house where the smell of fire and smoke affects coffee quality and taste.

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