Coffee grower asks for road repairs in Northern Province

A coffee grower in the mountains of Afore in Northern Province has called for maintenance and sealing of roads so that he can gain maximum economic benefit from his produce.

Ese Development Association, Activity Coordinator and coffee farmer, Machara Otosi, told Loop PNG that the current road conditions are forcing coffee growers to sell their coffee beans at low prices.

The Numba villager said the very bad state of roads and distance meant that they sold their coffee at very low prices to individual buyers willing to make the journey up into the mountains.

Otosi said at one time he sold 20 50kg bags of coffee of which if sold at the market price between K5 and K10, he would have made between K5,000 to K10, 000.

However he said he has to settle for prices offered at around K2 to K2.50.

“Bikos rot condition ino gutpa tumas na hat lo mi karim kofi blo mi go aut so mi stap lo ples na husyt buyer I stron na kam insayt na baim lo haus oda, wanem price em ofarim mi jes accpetim bikos I  nogat moa rot lo mi go out na salim kofi,” said Otosi.

“Because the road condition is not good enough, it’s difficult for me to take my coffee out so I just stay in the village. Whichever buyer is brave enough to come up to our village and offers whatever price, I just accept because there is no other alternative.”)

Local villager and conservationist, Kingsford Nichoi, told Loop PNG that the same goes for other cash crops  which are grown in Numba, located in the Managalas Plateau.

He said  many local produce grown is wasted as they are unable to sell due to the road conditions.

“Rot em wanpla bikpla samtin lo mipla lo plateau.

“Sapos rot I orait, we will never worry about anything bikos rot I stap, mama ken karim kumu blong em I go longmarket, coffee bilong mipla go long market, peanut bilong mipla igo long market so at least we are making money.

(The road is very important for us living at the Plateau.)

(If it was alright, we will never worry about anything because mothers can carry their greens to the market, our coffee to the market, our peanut to the market so at least we are making money.)

Cedric Patjole