By JAMES APA GUMUNO
MORE than 2,000 registered coffee growers in Wapenamanda district of Enga will receive 500,000 hybrid arusa coffee seedlings today.
The seedlings will be distributed free to the farmers by the Wapenamanda Coffee Cooperative Society.
Wapenamanda MP Miki Kaeok initiated the project with his joint district planning and budget priority committee to increase the district’s coffee production.
He said the committee had allocated about K3 million for the coffee project while the Agriculture and Livestock Department had assisted with K5 million.
Under the project, the cooperative society would, over time, supply more than 10 million coffee seedlings with the aim of producing more than 8,000 tonnes of green beans coffee worth K30 million every year during the next five years.
Wapenamanda Coffee Cooperative Society manager John Kimbuna said the project was an initiative of the district administration aimed at increasing coffee production in line with the national government development plan.
He said the 500,000 seedlings was not sufficient for the growers given the growing interest and the vast tracts of land being cleared to plant coffee.
Kimbuna said that growers want an average of 5,000 seedlings each.
However, he said that more seedlings would be supplied later which would run for the next five years.
Kimbuna said the coffee project was described by the Coffee Industry Corporation as the biggest project initiated by the district.
He said the hybrid coffee variety would yield cherries in thee years.
The project would be officially launched by the Deputy Prime Minister Don Polye tomorrow.