The National, Tuesday December 17th, 2013
FARM produce from the Afore local level government in Ijivitari district, Northern, needs to reach markets in Port Moresby and Lae but access remains difficult, an official says.
Cooperative Society official Isaiah Mamure said he had assisted the cooperatives to get certificates from the Investment Promotion Authority. But they were yet to register with the registrar of cooperatives in the Department of Commerce and Industry.
“I am trying to translate the dependence of the rural people on agriculture into commerce,” Mamure said.
“Afore grows the largest amount of Arabica coffee in the Southern region and the establishment of a coffee mill is needed in the area.”
Vegetables, fruits and high-grade Arabica coffee are produced in the cool region of the province in minimal quantities and require the intervention by investors or the Government.
There is potential for eco-tourism in the region with flora and fauna such as the Queen Alexandra Birdwing Butterfly and the Bird of Paradise.
More than 25 cooperative societies were in the process of being registered with the aim of attracting assistance from outside to develop and boost economy in the area.
Mamure appealed to local MPs to fund a coffee factory in the area.
H said access to markets such as the LNG sites, Port Moresby and Lae must be looked at so the producers could transport their produce to the bigger markets for big cash returns.
Meanwhile the road between Pongani and Afore also needs upgrading and the Afore airstrip should be re-opened to provide an alternative form of transport for the people.