Sarah Byrne re­ports on moves to give PNG’s cof­fee in­dus­try a vi­tal shot in the arm.

Paradise - - Strictly Business -

Pa­pua New Guinea’s Cof­fee In­dus­try Cor­po­ra­tion (CIC) has im­ple­mented a strat­egy of mo­bil­is­ing farm­ers into groups in an at­tempt to ad­dress farmer con­cerns about low cof­fee­bean prices. If farm­ers work to­gether, the con­sis­tency of the crop im­proves; it is a strat­egy that pro­vides the grow­ers with larger-crop vol­umes, putting them in a stronger po­si­tion to ne­go­ti­ate the sale price with the ex­porter.

“When they go as in­di­vid­u­als to the road­side or mar­ket to sell their cof­fee, they have no power. The Cof­fee In­dus­try Cor­po­ra­tion’s ap­proach to mo­bilise the farm­ers is a good strat­egy,” says the cor­po­ra­tion’s chief sci­en­tist, Tom Kukhang.

He says that even­tu­ally the grower co-ops will al­low the farm­ers to deal di­rectly with small roast­ers through­out the world, re­mov­ing the ‘mid­dle man’.

“This is one way of get­ting the farm­ers to re­ceive some good in­come, which will keep them in­ter­ested in grow­ing cof­fee and com­mit­ted to the crop.”

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