A coffee cooperative in a remote station in the Kabwum district has called for more support to get their coffee beans to Lae.
Nukna Coffee cooperative has over 400 bags of coffee still at the Yalumet airstrip waiting to be transported to Lae.
The coffee bags are to be flown out by third level airplanes that are not only expensive, but are facing cuts in flights due to fuel shortages.
Yalumet Farmers have established a cooperative that has already represented farmers in the coffee cupping competition in Lae two months ago, where their coffee was rated among the highest of quality.
But, constant supply to overseas markets are being jeopardised, because they have 400 bags still at the station.
“We are exporting to Korea, we need the governments help,” says Farmer, Gawong Gandi.
The Coffee industry Cooperation has already warned farmers that long storage will cause bean quality to drop.
In an interview in August, CIC’s Rose Romalus said maintaining quality is becoming a concern because of long storage.
“Quality is our major concern, because moisture builds when coffee sits in storage for a long time, there will be defaults in the beans,” says Romalus.
Things are not looking good for the cooperative as today a third level airline, North Coast Aviation, announced that it has had to halve its operations due to severe fuel shortages.
The people have also called on the government to complete a road that is supposed to be built to Yalumet. The road could solve much of the problem, but construction stopped when the Local Level Government (LLG) funds ran out and the National government cut LLG development funds from K500,000 to K100,000.