By Vasinatta Yama – EMTV News, Mt Hagen
Waghi Valley Coffee Factory in Jiwaka Province has opened its doors again after over 18 years of closure.
Highlands Organic Agriculture Consultancy has now taken over the factory to process organic coffee for the world market.
Director Tony Kiage, says organic agriculture farming is here to stay and it is the world’s future.
Jiwaka Province will be the first in Papua New Guinea to produce and process organic coffee for the world market.
Highlands Organic Agriculture Consultancy has a market in Germany and is looking forward to the certification process, in which they will produce according to the market’s requirement.
However, the organisation’s biggest hope is to involve marginalised citizens and farmers in organic farming.
Organic farming simply means farming without the use of chemicals like fertilisers.
Director Kiage says there are ways to avoid pests and insects on cash crops.
He said coffee must be planted in a secluded area under big trees, where the temperature is cool; it must be nicely planted in a uniform setting, proper drainage and maintenance, and check-ups.
Despite the province being affected by the coffee berry borer, Kiage said it is a tropical disease found in lower altitude area and farmers should not use this as an excuse. He said organic farming can avoid coffee berry borer.
Kiage himself has a background in this area which he wanted to share with ordinary people. The farmers’ plea is for the National Government to subsidise coffee price so that it can encourage them to grow more coffee.
They also want the government to have a roadmap for this renewable resource and show how it can bring development as well as provide income for them and change their living standard, and way of thinking.