No market for Northern coffee farmers

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 27th March, 2013

LACK of access to coffee markets is the main problem faced by coffee farmers in Northern, an official says.
Newly-appointed provincial farmer training and extension coordinator Jenny Bekio said most of the coffee was shipped to Lae, Morobe.
“The only coffee factory operating in the province was closed some years back and most of the coffee is shipped to Lae,” she said.
According to provisional coffee production figures for 2012, production in Northern dropped by half to 2,617 bags compared to the 2011 figure of 4,754 bags.
Bekio said her main priority would be to establish a coffee market for farmers in the province through partnership programmes to increase production.
The management of the Coffee Industry Corporation Ltd appointed Bekio to the position late last year.
She departed for Popondetta early this month from Goroka, Eastern Highlands, and is keen to work with relevant provincial authorities and the private sector to address the problem of coffee market access and quality coffee production. 
Bekio commended the management of Agmark Ltd for its sustainable initiative in promoting coffee in the province by setting up a coffee buying depot in Popondetta.