Rehabilitate coffee blocks: Officer


COFFEE in Daulo of Eastern Highlands can generate K12.8 million for the local economy, and more should be done to rehabilitate coffee blocks to raise revenue, an official says.
Coffee rehabilitation officer Mondave Wombo said the 13 coffee plantations in the district were producing 664 tonnes of coffee annually and generating total K12 million for the local economy.
“The 13 plantations are just 30 per cent of coffee grown in the district, 70 per cent comes from the smallholders.”
Local MP Pogio Ghate, who is also Agriculture vice minister in charge of coffee, said the Daulo District Development Authority had budgeted K1 million for a coffee rehabilitation programme.
“We have put K1 million, but we have used close to K600,000,” Ghate said.
“We are trying to assist the block holders, the plantations farmers because they have big blocks, and then later, we will try to assist the smaller block holders and farmers.
“Coffee has been here for many years.
“Coffee can address the access to foreign exchange, oil and gas will finish but coffee will still be there.”
Ghate said coffee was a cash crop that needed to be supported as many farmers would benefit from it.
“As the vice minister for coffee, I did not use the government funds, I used the DSIP funds to make sure that coffee work must continue.
“Daulo produces more coffee in Eastern Highlands province and we want to make sure that this continues,” he said.
He said the key to developing the local coffee industry was providing technical and financial assistance for growers and to provide markets for the produce.
“Daulo, we have 13 plantations, we produce 664 tonnes, that is the plantations, plantations are just 30 per cent, the smallholders comprise 70 per cent,” he said.