By Elizah Palme, EMTV News – Port Moresby
Following a national government’s decision to back a Nationwide Nursery Program to reintroduce new coffee trees to areas in Enga, Western Highlands, Jiwaka, Chimbu and Eastern Highlands Provinces, Jiwaka Central Coffee Nursery project at Numenz outside of Banz town was established in 2014 to supply coffee seedlings to small holder growers in Jiwaka province.
The project is owned and managed by the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) Ltd and has produced over two million coffee seedlings which have already been planted all over the newly established province.
According to Mr. Simon Gesip, CIC’s National Farmer Training and Extension Coordinator, the nursery project has, during its initial nursery commencement back in 2014, produced half a million coffee seedlings and lately, another 1.5 million seedlings were distributed to coffee growers in the province.
The nursery project has the capacity to hold over a million polybags of coffee plantlets at any one time during its nursery period and is currently progressing into its fourth year running.
Mr. Gesip who spoke during a proposed CIC and Jiwaka Provincial Government partnership meeting, held at a Resort outside Banz on Monday May 9, 2016, said on current trend, coffee production in the Jiwaka Province would increase twofold in the next 3-4 years’ time.
“Jiwaka is unofficially the major coffee growing province in the country, after breaking away from Western Highlands Province. Most of those bigger and run down plantations are in the valley and with the direction the Provincial Government is taking to fund run down plantations, Jiwaka is heading for the right direction.”
The meeting was attended by Jiwaka Governor Dr William Tongamp, CIC Acting Chief Executive Officer Charles Dambui, General Manager Steven Tumae, Industry Operations Division, including other senior officers, Hong Kong based Bolaven Farms CEO, Sam Say and church partners.
Dr Tongamp told the meeting that since becoming Jiwaka Governor in 2012, he realised the importance of coffee and what it was to his people and therefore, he had to invest quite substantially in coffee. He explained further that his government was assisting coffee plantations, blocks and smallholder growers in the province every year.
Apart from extracting coffee seedlings from the Numenz nursery, Governor Tongamp said additional coffee seedlings were collected from another CIC owned Mauro Central Nursery located in the Sinasina Yongamugl District of Simbu Province.
Governor Tongamp also welcomed a new process of pulping coffee cherries and drying them without having to ferment and remove the emulsifier of coffee beans, as this has been the traditional norm.
The new process has been introduced by the Hong Kong based Bolaven Farms CEO, Sam Say, who are also the patented owners of the concept.
Say told the meeting that the process would fetch very lucrative price from buyers overseas.
“We are prepared to put some funds to test the new patent process”, Dr Tongamp expressed.
There are currently over 20 cooperative groups with ten currently under CIC training programs and few officially registered with Investment Promotion Authority (IPA).
Some of the notable development for coffee in Jiwaka is seeing the support from the provincial government in rehabilitating 10 plantations, Demucilager Pulpers for two registered groups and discussions are already underway to partner with Bolaven Farms of Laos.