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Coffee Minister Joe Kuli presented dummy cheques totaling up to K1 million to various third level airlines and shipping agencies yesterday in the Nation’s Capital.

This is in support of the government funded program called the Freight Surety Scheme (FSS).

Minister Kuli said that, “it is a government funded program and uses third level airline and shipping companies to move coffee out. I would like to commend the third level airlines and shipping agencies for their services to the remote areas and for making market accessibility possible for the farmers.”

He also revealed that there are approximately 3,000 tons of parchment coffee yet to be air freighted from 67 operational airstrips in remote areas in the country.

The cheque presentation was done by Mr. Kuli and CIC chief executive officer Charles Dambui at Morauta Haus. Recipients of the funding support included Niugini Aviation Services Ltd who received K300, 000, North Coast Aviation, Adventist Aviation Services, Air Sanga, Lutheran Shipping Services, JJ Shipping and Consort Express Lines with K100, 000 each for coffee freighting.

CIC CEO Charles Dambui further explained the benefits of the FSS Program.

“The return on investment on the FSS program in the last 6 months was 1:8, meaning that every K1 spent on freight, a farmer generates K8 from the coffee sales. The economic returns of the program clearly demonstrate FSS as a people-level impact project that needs to be sustained with wider coverage,” CEO Dambui said.

In thanking the government for the timely support, Air Sanga Ltd representative Kingsley Slowat added that, high costs in wear and tear and retaining experienced bush pilots was a big challenge for them and others. He urged the District Development Authorities to step in and help in maintaining the respective airstrips in their districts.

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