By Bethanie Harriman – EMTV News, Lae
Papua New Guinea’s coffee export has declined this year, after the El Nino that affected farmers throughout the country’s coffee growing parts.
The Coffee Industry Corporation reports that crop yield dropped in quality to its lowest in history, reducing the amount of exports.
Amidst the country’s financial problems, the Central bank says Coffee has done well to contribute to vital export.
The Lae branch of the Coffee Industry Corporation deals with the coffee exports out of the Lae ports. The Central Bank says coffee exports have been good and could help with the current lack of foreign currency.
CIC Senior Export Officer, Marie Kiliawi, says the numbers show that coffee exports have declined slightly this year.
Coffee contributes consistently to foreign currency coming into the country and the local rural family.
“Overall, for the quarter last year was above 111,000 in bags, this year we did only 109,000 bags,” says Kiliawi.
The cash flow coming from coffee is nowhere near to that of the extractive industry, but the central bank has highlighted that coffee brings in vital foreign currency through exports.
“We are seeing that has good exports, exporters are selling directly to overseas markets, and of course, cocoa in Boungainville and East New Britain is increasing,” says Bakani.
The Coffee industry has suffered greatly this year, a sharp drop in prices, because of poor quality, brought about by the adverse effects of the El Nino and damages to the Highlands Highway that delayed freight to Lae.
“Defects and rubbish that we see in coffee, defects, white and old beans, its really because of long storage, those were the kind of things that affect quality, that was one of the major things that we see,” says Senior Quality Officer, Rose Romalus.
Coffee may not be exporting billions of dollars, but during times like this when world prices of oil, gas and minerals slump, coffee does become significant. Coffee and the Agriculture sector don’t get the support it deserves to reach its full potential.