Double blow for coffee farmers

The Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) pest is not the only concern now facing coffee growers and sellers in PNG.

The recent downturn in coffee prices is now placing even more pressure on growers affected by the pest, which has significantly reduced kilograms of coffee for sale.

According to Kina, prices for coffee fell by 4.7 per cent during the month.

This means that not only will the CBB pest reduce the number of kilograms of coffee beans sold but at a much lower price.

Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) Grower and Research Services, General Manager, Dr. Mark Kenny, tells Loop PNG that growers are very worried and concerned but have been very receptive.

“Those that have infected sites when we go in to do the cleanup, they are willing and providing the support because they are also concerned about the impact,” he said.

The containment exercise has been able to restrict the CBB pest to particular sites in Jiwaka and Eastern Highlands only.

However, the CIC is running on a shoe-string budget after spending most of its internal funding for the containment exercise.

CIC extension officers have also ceased recurrent programs to assist in the containment.

Dr. Kenny said they have received information that the National Executive Council has approved funding for the exercise however, they have yet to receive the money.

Cedric Patjole