Outspan boss underscores need to increase coffee production


MORE coffee crops need to be planted to position Papua New Guinea for the progressive increase in global demand for both commodities, according to Outspan Papua New Guinea  general manager Pritam Biswas.
Biswas spoke at the inaugural National Agriculture Summit yesterday on the potential of coffee to make up 10 per cent of the national Gross Domestic Product in about 10 years’ time.
“We see that global coffee demand will keep on rising, primarily because there is a sustained effort going into accessing the world’s largest markets, the main tea drinkers, which are China and India,” Biswas said.
He said one million bags were produced in 2016 and 2017.
The aim is to increase this to three million bags in 2020, and six million in 2025.
“If I take the average value of around US$3000 (K9454) per metric tonne, we are looking at a revenue figure for Papua New Guinea  from $US180 million (K567.26 million) all the way to US$1 billion (K3.15 billion),” he said.
“Papua New Guinea coffee is famous all over the world because of its aroma because of its cup which means it has an inherent specialty coffee component.
“So if we change the mix of the coffee from the normal to specialty that can be sold to high-end buyers like Starbucks and others, you can change the current mix from 90 per cent conventional coffee and 10 per cent specialty and change it to a mix of 60 per cent specialty and 40 conventional by 2020, you are looking at an additional US$6000 (K19,000) per metric tonne which makes it an industry of US$1.6 billion (K5.1 billion).
With present Gross Domestic Product figures, it would mean about 10 per cent coming from coffee production in Papua New Guinea.”