Milne Bay helps transport farmers’ coffee

Where there are limited resources and the need to assist rural farmers is inevitable, partnership plays a significant role in moving work for all concerned.

Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) chief executive officer, Charles Dambui, made this remark following a successful airfreighting of 7,993 kg (7.9 tons) of parchment coffee from Agaun, Daga LLG, to Alotau on a recent SIL charter.

The coffee belonged to 250 coffee farmers in the Daga LLG, Milne Bay Province.

CIC’s Alotau based extension coordinator, Dickson Kenas, said since 2014, a total 616 farmers from the Daga LLG have benefited through the CIC freight subsidy program in partnership with the Milne Bay Provincial Administration.

He said one charter per year moves out most of the coffees from the Daga LLG, the only area that produces Arabica coffee. In 2016, the province moved 120 tons of parchment coffee out of the area, recording the highest airfreighted coffee for the province.

Late harvests are usually carried out in June to August whereas the months of October –December see freight and logistic organised to bring coffee to Alotau.

Kenas said based on current production and marketing trends, the province has an annual production capacity of 200 tons.

“In Milne Bay, we have an excellent team of stakeholders that we partner with to deliver on coffee issues,” stated Kenas.

He said the Milne Bay Provincial Administration, through Division of Agriculture & Livestock (DAL), has been an active partner that has contributed towards coffee development in the province since 2012.

Through this partnership, a “commodity produce market” was initiated where all parchment coffees are bought off by DAL in Alotau and sold to exporters in Lae.

“We have purchased and freighted more than 500 tons to date and continue regardless of financial issues.”

The last lot of 2017 Daga coffee was airfreighted over on May 07th - 10th, 2018, by the Milne Bay Provincial Administration coffee charter.

From the recent coffee charter, farmers were paid K3.50 per kilogram for their coffee, an arrangement to get all coffee off from farmers, and Milne Bay Provincial Administration takes care of the export end in Lae.

The sale from the coffee then generates revenue for the administration to continue the initiative.

Dambui said CIC values such partnerships and commends the continued efforts the Milne Bay Provincial Administration puts into ensuring farmers’ coffees are taken care of at the first instance through this arrangement.

Press release