CBB fight facing funding issues

The National Agriculture, Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA) and Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) are zeroing down on other operational activities to keep the coffee berry borer (CBB) fight going.

As continued efforts are being made into the fourteenth week of operations, the organisations are afraid that it will not be long until both run low on funds in the next two weeks.

This concern was raised on Wednesday, May 17th, during the first National Emergency Response Committee (NERC) meeting in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province.

The meeting was chaired by Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) Secretary, Dr Vele Ila’ava, who challenged officers from CIC, NAQIA and provincial government representatives of Jiwaka, Eastern Highlands and Morobe provinces, to combine efforts and resources to address CBB.

“It is a situation that presents opportunities, let us not see this as a crisis but to continue to grow coffee industry in PNG and improve border security and bio security issues in the country.”

Dr Ila’ava highlighted that it was a big responsibility for all involved in the CBB operation as the industry supports more than 3 million people.

Speaking on behalf of CIC CEO Charles Dambui, who was not able to attend, general manager for industry operations, Steven Tumae, told the committee that CIC had used over K2 million in the last 12 weeks, undertaking major awareness, delimiting surveys, mitigation and containment exercises.

He stressed that for the next thirty two weeks up to January 2018, the organisation would need additional K6 million to continue with current efforts.

NAQIA managing director Joel Alu shared the same sentiments with CIC, saying NAQIA had also put in an internal CBB coordinating team to work with CIC. He said the organisation receives very little funding from the government and has spent K1 million to date on CBB work – money that was not budgeted for.

“We see this as a national emergency that the government and every Papua New Guineans must take ownership.”

Press release