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