Pomio coffee farmers produce the largest amount of coffee, but are currently selling their produce to the mainland after the factory at Kabakaul in Kokopo shut down following the death of its manager a few years back.
Realising the need to bring the market closer to the people, the Pomio District Development Authority, through its board, decided to set up a coffee factory in the district’s headquarters at Palmalmal.
Pomio MP and Chairman of the Pomio DDA Board, Elias Kapavore, confirmed that there was a recent trip to Banz in Jiwaka Province to meet with the owner of the factory, which was said to have been constructed but was never used.
He said payment has been made to a shipping company to transport eight containers of materials for the factory to Palmalmal from Lae in the coming weeks.
The same hired vessel is expected to bring over materials for bridges in the district.
“We got tons of coffee produced by farmers in Pakia, Mile and Aona wards of Inland Pomio LLG, who were bringing their bags of coffee to the factory at Kabakaul in the past. But after issues with the factory, this left a gap that needed to be addressed. That’s when the Pomio DDA decided to establish our own factory,” Kapavore stated.
He said following the trip to Banz 2 months ago, the Pomio DDA engaged a coffee manager from Kikiba Plantation to assist in finding the secondhand factory.
While awaiting MV Pomio, which is currently being serviced, a barge has been engaged to transport coffee bags to Lae to buyers under an arrangement with the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) and other private arrangements.
“As we wait for the coffee factory, we utilise the arrangements in place and allow farmers to grow and sell their produce so that we maintain the interest in coffee farming. This is because when we have a factory in place, there will be demand to meet the supply requirements of the factory.”
The Pomio MP outlined that his DDA cannot wait to see Pomio coffee on the market and he believes this will be realised very soon.
The factory building materials were purchased at a cost of over K700,000 from a businessman in Banz.
Kapavore said ENB can produce coffee thus, there is a need for a factory.
“We are working closely with CIC as they are responsible for issuing permits and licences, and they will ensure we meet the required processes to build this factory so that everything is in order.”