Coffee production may be affected by 30 percent

Coffee production in PNG could be affected by 30 percent according to the Goroka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) following the discovery of the Coffee Berry Borer (CBB).

In a response to Loop PNG GCCI President, Sarah Shelley, says this is the general consensus of the organisation.

Shelley expressed concern with the recent find of the CBB  and the devastating effect it would have on farmers.

“We are very concerned with this recent find of coffee berry borer, Papua New Guinea was listed as one of two countries (Nepal being the other) in the world to be CBB free, its unfortunate we are now ruled out. 

“We are committed to determining the extent of the infestation and working with the industry and partners in containing and assisting in controlling the infestation and determining the source of the infestation. On that note the discovery of the bug in five provinces would indicate that it has been here for sometime so it is possible to exist with the CCB 

“It’s devastating for any farmer when a serious pest like the coffee berry borer hits their crop,” Shelley said.

Last week Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Tommy Tomscoll, announced a quarantining of Six provinces which are Jiwaka, Chimbu, Enga, Eastern, Southern, and Western Highlands.

A delimiting survey is also currently carried out by the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL), Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) and the National Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA).

Shelley commended the current response measure and urges coffee farmers to  take proactive measures.

“We appreciate the swift cooperation from DAL, CIC and NAQIA and also their concern and support in containing this infestation as soon as possible. 

“Affected coffee farmers would now have to ensure they take proactive measure; such as that their crops are pruned at the lower unproductive branches of the coffee trees and the shade plants to create less favourable conditions for the multiplication of the borer and collect all the remaining berries after harvest.

“This breaks the cycle of the pest. Coffee Cherry is the only known host of CCB, the larvae feed on the coffee bean, reducing the yield and quality of the bean,” she said.

Picture credit:


Cedric Patjole