Smallholder farmers told to work with commodity boards


AGRICULTURE and Livestock Minister John Simon says smallholder farmers should work closely with their respective commodity boards to benefit from the Government’s K50 million price support programme.
He told The National that the programme would identify different buyers through respective commodities and allocate funding.
Simon was responding to concerns raised by smallholder coffee and cocoa farmers in the country about the price support programme not trickling down to the farmers’ level.
The Government programme was launched last November with each commodity board receiving funds to allow the rollout of the programme in provinces that produced commodities such as cocoa, copra and coffee.
Smallholder Coffee Growers Association Inc president Joseph Kom said the association, as a major player in the country’s coffee industry, had not received funding support from the programme.
“We are a major player in the coffee industry in PNG where we produce 80 per cent of the total coffee production in the country,” he said.
“We are members of the PNG Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) and request that the Government, through the agriculture minister, fund the association which is well -structured and positioned in the country to serve the coffee farmers.”
Simon noted that the CIC had managed the K10 million allocated to the coffee industry well and the smallholder coffee farmers needed to work closely with the CIC.
“The only way for the smallholder farmers to partake in this programme is to work closely with the respective commodity boards, in this case, the CIC,” he said. “The programme will identify different buyers through respective commodities and allocate the appropriate money.”
The Growers Association Inc also raised similar concerns on behalf of cocoa farmers of East New Britain and across the country,that there was a lack of awareness on the price support programme and it was not having an impact on the cocoa farming in the country covering both wet bean and dry bean cocoa production.

One thought on “Smallholder farmers told to work with commodity boards

  • Mr Simon,
    Just a few questions:
    1. Are you part or have any connection with the EU grant of K340 Million?
    2. How and where was the grant used?
    3. Is there any possibility that you may publish the grant expenditure?

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