Warning over funding delay for borer fight

Business

THE dreaded coffee borer will continue to spread into provinces in the Highlands and Mamose if the Government fails to fund its containment and management, an official warns.
National Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection Authority (Naqia) senior entomologist David Tenakanai said it could mean that about 80 per cent of coffee crops affected within six to 12 months.
Tenakanai told The National that the Government had committed K20 million last March to address the problem but it was yet to be released. The funding delay has resulted in the spread of the coffee borer from an initial nine gardens in Jiwaka to the whole province and Easter Highlands.
“With the outbreak in the coffee berry borer in Jiwaka and then later in Goroka, Easter Highlands, we are now into containment mode,” Tenakanai said.
Naqia has set up check points in Jiwaka and Chimbu and working with the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) to set up a check point in Eastern Highlands.
“This is to stop the movement of coffee cherries and parchments from infected provinces to non-infected provinces,” Tenakanai said.
“The Coffee Industry Corporation is going into sanitation, rehabilitation and eradication mode. But unfortunately it is not being done fast enough because CIC and Naqia need money to do this.
“The K20 million that the NEC (National Executive Council) has approved has not been released. We are still waiting.”
He said if nothing was done, the pest would spread to other unaffected areas.

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