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January 24, 2021

Delay Affects Coffee and Cocoa Farmers

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More than 7,000 bags of coffee and cocoa are still sitting on a ship at Lae’s main wharf.

This was the concern raised by coffee and cocoa farmers from both Tewai-Siasi and Kabwum Districts in Morobe province.

Bags of coffee and cocoa from Wasu in Tewai-Siasi District were loaded onto Lady Zeming, a Morobe Coast Shipping Services vessel.

The ship left Wasu on July 21, and was supposed to reach Voco Point in Lae by July 26.

However, Molock Terry, a coffee farmer from Tewai-Siasi District from Unen Choit Cooperative said Lady Zeming was not at the wharf when the farmers got there.

The ship is now at Lae’s main wharf, making it is more difficult for the farmers to unload their coffee and cocoa.

According to Terry the delay arose after a supposed agent demanded that the freight payment be made into another account separate from Morobe Coast Shipping, the company tasked with the management of the shipping service.

An officer from Morobe Coast Shipping  said they were not aware of the circumstances behind the delay. A response from the CEO was not made available by this afternoon.

Unen Choit Cooperative sells their products to international importers in Austria, USA and Korea. The delay is currently affecting the reputation of PNG coffee and cocoa exporters who sell to Korea.

Meanwhile, PNG Ports said the bags will be unloaded today.

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