Partnership benefits farmers

Farming

The Coffee Industry Corporation’s Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (CIC-PPAP) continues to touch the heart and soul of farmers taking part in coffee rehabilitation.
Last week, more than 2000 farmers and their families gathered at Okapa Station, Eastern Highlands, to witness the launching and distribution of hand pulpers.
This was the final coffee pulper distribution for CIC-PPAP lead partner Coffee Connections and copartner
Highlands Organic Agriculture Cooperative (HOAC) under call 2 activities. The farmer group is serving 2600 growers under the partnership since 2009.
Tools and materials like hand pulpers are distributed at a subsidized cost (5 per cent of total cost) as an intervention under coffee rehabilitation project to help farmers increase production of quality coffee.
PPAP manager Potaisa Hombunaka urged the farmers to work in partnership with their cooperative executives to improve their coffee gardens, produce quality coffee and earn a little bit more money to improve their wellbeing.
Hombunaka said the importance of partnership under the PPAP model was for sustainability when it ends in June 2019.
“We are introducing a different type of ‘work didiman’. I am happy to know DPI officers are working closely with PPAP. Because at the end of PPAP they can continue to fund the project.
“There is ‘didiman’ or ‘didimeri’ funding in the DSIP (district support improvement program) allocation to Okapa so it is important for us to work closely with the government.”
Hombunaka said a meeting last October between the CIC-PPAP and Okapa MP Saki Hacky had resulted in a partnership for the construction of a 12.9 km road linking Yasubi (2- Mile) to Takai/Purosa in Okapa.
The road will service more than 10,000 farmers in the remote area who are known for producing high quality organic coffee.
They fared well in the recent National Coffee Cupping Competition organised by CIC.
“Your MP was the second to walk into my office to discuss road development in Okapa. The first was Obura-Wonenara MP, Mehrra
Minne Kipefa, also Minister for Labour and Industrial Relations.”
He said PPAP was a partnership project and building of access roads should be an important priority and praised Hacky for taking the lead in this partnership arrangement.
“Next month CSTB should advertise for contractors to apply to work on the road,” Hombunaka said.
The gathering also witnessed the launching of distribution of 12 sheets of 12-foot roofing irons to 20 farmers per cluster group totalling 160 farmers from eight cluster groups.
This was funded from the Fairtrade premium with Coffee Connections.
Earlier Hacky confirmed Soloma’s commitment through his district development authority to financially contribute 10 per cent towards funding of road works.
This will add more kilometres to support road works in the electorate undertaken by the World Bank and IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) financed industry rehabilitation project.
A female farmer on behalf of the mothers thanked PPAP coffee for the partnership with Coffee Connections and HOAC for the distribution of much needed tools and materials and provision of community empowerment trainings.
“The coffee pulpers will remove the stones from mothers’ hands,” Ronah Moses said. Women in the Okapa District are known for using stones to pulp coffee cherry.
Earlier the farmers benefitted from scissors or secateurs and other coffee pruning tools. PPAP coffee also financed the training of farmers on gender equity, family business and leadershipapart from coffee husbandry, pruning.
Moses said the training created awareness among men to realise the immense contributions by women to community development.
Moses called for a good road system from Okapa to Goroka.
Farmers and communities were urged to look after the changes initiated by farmer groups as a result of the partnership with Coffee Connections and CIC-PPAP.
The partnership has seen schools, water supply and supplying roofing irons through coffee premiums and youths were particularly asked to take pride and ownership of these changes.
This tool distribution launching seals off the coffee rehabilitation activities under call 2.
The coffee rehabilitation is a Coffee Industry Corporation project through the Department of Agriculture and Livestock.
The coffee rehabilitation activities are financed by a loan facility from World Bank and IFAD or International Fund for Agricultural Development with support funding from PNG Government.

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