Road network major problem in rural areas

National, Normal

THE government’s inability to open up road network in most of the communities is a major hindrance to improve standard and bring development to rural communities in the country.
Goroka coffee businessman and community leader Leslie Hoffman, who was in Port Moresby to witness the swearing in of the new Coffee Industry Board chief executive officer Navi Anis, said the rural and remote communities had been denied for a longtime.
“We celebrated 35 years of independence but most rural communities are still struggling to access market and other basic services,” he said.
He said only if the government could open up access to towns and markets, then, the people would experience change in their standard of living as they could be able to sell their cash crops like
Hoffman said he had gone into some of the highly populated communities to buy coffee and had experienced the difficulties the rural people faced walking for days and nights over rugged terrains or deteriorated roads to sell their coffee.
He said most of these remote places had abundant blocks of organic coffee that could increase growth in the coffee industry but accessibility had completely forced them to abandoned active participation.
He said many bags of coffee were destroyed yearly as they could not be transported to markets in town.
“We sometimes have to hire small planes to go in and transport the coffee bags, an expensive exercise.
“But the village people who can not afford to hire planes to transport their coffee and other products,” Hoffman said.