The coffee industry in PNG is in a crisis and needs to be addressed quickly, as it is of great importance tothe country.
This is according to John Fowke, who arrived to work as a Cadet Patrol Officer in Papua New Guineain 1958 and later spentthe best part ofthe next 48 years inthe country, contributing immensely tothe coffee industry.
Mr Fowke expressed his views ofthe coffee industry in PNG through a Commentary earlier this month.
The United Nation says coffee production in Papua New Guineaaccounts for about 1% of world production. After oil palm, coffee in PNG #39’s second largest agricultural exportoemploying 2.5 million people.
Fowke saysthe industry faces a crisis andthere is decline in annual yield and production.
Mr Fowke says coffee trees right acrossthe major coffee-producing districts are old and aren’t producing good yields anymore.
Thomas Nale, who has worked for 18 years withthe CoffeeIndustry Corporation, was interviewed recently, sharing his views onthe status ofthe coffee industry.
He saysthe coffee industry is going down and workers inthe industry are doing ther things to sustainthemselves.
Mr Fowke says thatthere is a problem to be faced inthe planning and implementation of a nationwide coffee replanting push.
He says coffee-scientists and extension-planners atthe Department of Agriculture and Livestock and atthe CIC will not agree that using growers’ own hand-selected coffee-cherry for seedling production is appropriate.
Mr Fowke said via e-mail this week from Australia that coffee is such an important industry forPNG simply because it is “cash in hand” atthe market or alongthe road, full price paid in one installment.
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