Vanilla farmers in Madang urged to avoid middlemen

A LOCAL vanilla buyer in Madang and East Sepik claims many middlemen are springing up in rural areas following recent increase in the price of the produce.

Therefore, farmers need to be mindful of this and sell to only recognised registered buyers to get better returns.

Andrew Bonny, who conducts awareness on producing good quality vanilla has warned farmers in Madang not to sell their produce to middle-men, who do not offer good prices.

Bonny said he had been receiving reports of some individuals or so-called middlemen going into the rural areas of Rai Coast district in Madang and buying vanilla beans from farmers. However, these buyers are getting the vanilla beans at K120 per kilogram, which is low according to Bonny.

Bonny has challenged farmers in Rai Coast that they should not sell their vanilla to these middle-men  when vanilla price has increased to K200 per kilogram.

He even admitted that these so-called middlemen who are buying vanilla at K120 per kilogram are later selling the vanilla beans to him and getting K200 per kilogram. This is not good so farmers must be mindful of that.

Bonny during his recent awareness in Madang has urged farmers to pick farmers which are ripe at or after nine-months old, and not harvest those at six or seven months.

“Don’t harvest vanilla beans that are not ready and force them with all sorts of means and ways just to sell and get money, always remember to maintain quality,” Bonny said.

He added that farmers in Madang must avoid forcing young vanilla beans to get ripen like previously done during the vanilla boom in Maprik and Wosera-Gawi district of East Sepik where certain people had to use paper-clips to stick into unripe vanilla beans just to make them look mature for the sake of selling them to get monies.

“Dry your vanilla beans correctly after you pick those from the vines after they are nine months old,” he said.

Bonny took time to do awareness in Madang using the provincial radio station NBC Madang where he urged farmers to avoid the so-called middle-men and mobilize their produce and sell to registered buyers who would purchase at good prices.

He is strongly urging vanilla farmers in the Middle-Ramu district of Madang particularly Simbai, Aiome and Josephstaal to avoid middlemen who are visiting their area to purchase good quality vanilla produce.

James G. Kila