PM to launch new plan

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday February 25th, 2014

 From MALUM NALU in Goroka

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill will launch new plans to revitalise the coffee industry at the National Park in Goroka on Friday.

Coffee Industry Corporation acting chief executive officer Anton Benjamin said coffee was a major contributor to national income and employment and the launching of CIC’s strategic and corporate plan would map out a path for the future.

“Almost three million people depend on coffee for their social, economic and food security,” he told The National in Goroka on Saturday.

“The industry is made up of 400,000 households, 680 blocks ranging from one to 30 hectares, 65 plantations, 17 registered importers, 59 registered processors and over 6,000 roadside buyers.

“Arabica coffee makes up more than 95% of production and exports while Robusta accounts for the balance.

“The bulk is produced by the smallholder sector, accounting for about 85% of total production, followed by plantations 10% and blocks 5%.

“The major coffee-growing provinces are Easters Highlands, Western Highlands, Jiwaka, Morobe, Madang, Enga and Chimbu while East Sepik, West Sepik, Northern, Milne Bay, Central, Gulf and East New Britain produce the balance.

“New growth areas are New Ireland and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.”

Benjamin said the strategic and corporate plans were more focused on district level.

“The strategic plan has been reviewed over a number of years now,” he said,

“Basically, this addresses those major issues affecting the industry.

“It’s been revised and addressed by the board last year.

“It addresses plantations, market access, how we’re connecting farmers.

“We’re inviting foreign investment to come and participate in the industry.

“We need to encourage foreign investment,” he said.