by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) was first established in 1963 as Papua New Guinea’s Coffee Marketing Board. It commenced its operations in 1964.
In 1976, after some years of operation, it became the Coffee Industry Board and finally to Coffee Industry Corporation Limited.
Since its establishment, CIC has been providing leadership, facilitative and support services to the Papua New Guinea Coffee Industry.
In 1999, CIC implemented the Coffee Freight Program however, due to limited funding; it was not fully operational until 2012, with government assistance, the program was fully operational and further extended its reach to outer remote communities in the country.
Four years from the day it was fully operational, the Coffee Freight Program has helped many rural farmers with their produce in transporting, processing and selling.
The operation of this program has seen positive outcomes and today, continues to help and reach out to many remote farmers who have difficulties transporting, processing and marketing their coffee.
Among the many who have benefited from this program, Lower Daribi in the Karimui Nomane District of Simbu Province is one of them.
Due to its geographical setting, transportation has been a big struggle for the local farmers.
Over the past 17 years, an airstrip has been the only possible source of transport for these farmers.
In 2014, Helen Vitus, a women council representative in the Lower Daribi, witnessing the struggle of the people, sought assistance from CIC for a transportation deal, and since then, many of the local farmers have seen better benefits.
CIC, in its recent chartered trip to Negabo airstrip has freighted a total of 20 coffee bags to Goroka for processing and selling.
Chief Executive Officer, Charles Dambui, when commending the program said that over the last four years, a total of 1, 349 tonnes of coffee parchment have been freighted via this program, and has benefited 81 coffee grower groups in Papua New Guinea, 40 individuals from various airstrips and jetties around the country.
The program by far, is described as having helped many local farmers in the remote communities and continues to be of great help to many.