By Meleasie Goviro – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Over 500 local coffee farmers from the rural Simbai LLG in Madang, urgently need a serviceable road.
Although the villagers were grateful to the Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Projects (PPAP) intervention to rehabilitate their coffee gardens, road access remained an obstacle to selling their produce.
At present, the only road connecting Simbai to Madang town has been left abandoned following the collapse of several bridges and land slips.
As a result, farmers and their wives walked for two days with 60kg coffee bags to Lower Ramu in order to catch a motored canoe to Madang.
Some are unable to even access their gardens leaving them neglected.
Meanwhile, The Anglican Church of PNG (ACPNG), PPAP’s Lead Partner in Simbai, has been distributing coffee pulping machines among other basic tools to 877 farmers under call 2 proposals.
ACPNG Extension officers are also helping to train farmers with pruning coffee trees which have been neglected for years.
Project Manager, Potaisa Hombunaka, says PPAP and Lead Partner ACPNG are considering group marketing as an option for the people of Simbai.