The National, Thursday February 13th, 2014
COFFEE production in East Sepik has been boosted by the introduction of a new coffee seed and the demise of cocoa, which has been badly affected by the pod borer.
This is evident in the districts of Maprik, Ambunti-Dreikikier and Wosera-Gawi.
Provincial farmer training extension officer Benjamin Kasito said new coffee trees had been grown from old ones through the coffee rehabilitation programme.
Kasito said the new Robusta coffee variety Omuru One was even better. It has already been introduced in Central Sepik.
Because of the demand from smallholder growers, Maprik MP John Simon committed K270,000 from the District Services Improvement Programme to build a nursery for the new variety coffee.
Kasito said it came at the right time because Cocoa Pod Borer had gradually killed cocoa production in the district.
Cocoa farmers are now turning to coffee to earn their living.
“Thanks to Simon for giving priority to agriculture in the district as it is one way we can help our local farmers,” Kasito said.
He said the coffee extension office in Maprik was working to establish nurseries in the four local level governments.
He predicts by end of 2016, all coffee growers should have the Omuru One varierty.