Over 80 coffee farmer groups in the Okapa District of Eastern Highlands Province had their coffee gardens rehabilitated under the District by District Village Coffee Rehabilitation programs carried out by the Coffee Industry Corporation early this year.
Chief Executive Officer of the Coffee Industry Corporation Ltd (CIC) Mr. Navi Anis said CIC is now targeting coffee services to farmers group rather than individual farmers as it has proved effective in serving the many genuine farmers at one instance and also that farmer will achieve high coffee volume that will translate into high income.
“The government is investing in the right place to ensure coffee farmers remain positive by toiling the soil and not running into urban centers,” said Mr.Anis.
The National government has allocated a total of K2.5 million kina to CIC late this year to implement the coffee rehabilitation program.
He said the rehabilitation program is complemented by nursery program where fresh seedlings are given to farmer groups.
Eastern Highlands Provincial Farmer Training and Extension Coordinator of the Coffee Industry Corporation Ltd, Mr. Samson Jack said, 40 coffee farmers groups were from the East Okapa LLG and another 40 were from the West Okapa LLG.
“Each group should have 40 farmers and about 700 trees of each group were rehabilitated. We are doing a five year plan to prune their coffee gardens and each year about 1/5 of their coffee gardens are expected to be pruned so that they can still have the other 4/5 to harvest during the year,” said Mr. Jack.
He said CIC is empowering coffee farmer groups with coffee quality and management training and coffee rehabilitation tools to the farmer groups to implement the coffee rehabilitation program.
He is urging coffee farmer group in other seven districts of the province to visit the CIC office in Goroka to express their interest for coffee rehabilitation programs to be carried out in their groups.
“After the elections we will kick off with a major coffee rehabilitation work, and now with the elections going on, we are carrying out awareness for coffee farmer group to come and register their group with CIC,” said Mr. Jack