Morobe expects to become one ofthe country’s leading coffee producers overthe next five years through ongoing interventions bythe Provincial Government.
Coffee cooperatives that are homegrown and have provern track records are being backed the provincial government on a “kina for kina” basis.
Morobe used to be rankedthe fourth largest coffee producer after Chimbu but recently coffee production has increased so much thatthe province is nowthe third largest producer in Papua New Guinea
Some ofthe export figures have been in part due tothe work ofthe Neknasi Coffee Cooperative; a group of four hundred farmers from Beana inthe Waing-Erap LLG and farmers in remote Kabwum who currently export directly tothe US.
“The idea now fromthe industry and fromthe stakeholders andthe Morobe Provincial Government is that – we want to empowerthe economic sector, more particularly in this casethe ‘coffee industry’ sothe people involved inthe coffee industry who arethe bulk ofthe rural population this province can enhancethemselves inthe production of coffee,” says Morobe Governor Kelly Naru.
Now with strong backing formthe provincial governmentocoffee production is expected to see a dramatic increase.
The provincial government’says it will back cooperatives based on how muchthey raise. The governor calls it ‘A Kina for Kina Besis’.
“We have toldthe coffee growers and cooperatives such as Neknasi that our government’stands ready to assist on a kina by kina basis ifthey are to put funds where it is much deserved in terms of growingthe industry and we will counter that to enhancetheir ability to go into coffee production,” said Naru.
The development inthe coffee industry comes at a time whenthere is renewed interest in Lae as an industrial hub.
The Morobe provincial government collects more than sixty million kina in GST every year, and increased production and new coffee mills will mean more money going tothe government and more tothe hands ofthe people.
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