The PNG Smallholder Coffee Growers Associations (SHCGA) Inc has elected new executives in an annual general meeting (AGM) held recently in Goroka.
The new team will be headed by re-known coffee farmer Joseph Kom as chairman and Jerry Anisi as his deputy. Other members of the new executive team are Nick Lalop (secretary), Jeffson Angopa (treasurer) and Kaiyo Kana (general secretary Growers Associations).
At the start of the AGM, Project Manager of Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (PPAP), Mr Potaisa Hombunaka introduced member growers to the World Bank and IFAD (International Fund for Agriculture Development) funded rehabilitation efforts to improve cocoa and coffee production in Papua New Guinea.
He said the coffee (as well as cocoa) PPAP project since 2011 is progressing well and will cover only 10 per cent of nearly 400,000 coffee growing households to improve their yield and subsequent livelihood.
Mr Hombunaka also urged the smallholder representatives from the provinces to introduce a business approach for the long term sustainability of the coffee industry, their income and the future generation whose lives depend on coffee.
“We must take a pro-active role in developing partnership to take coffee industry to the next level.
“We must change the culture of coffee production. We have been farmers for many years.
“We must develop strategies to develop effective partnership to develop businessmen and women in coffee. I want to see more coffee businessmen and women,” he said.
Mr Hombunaka explained to the growers that the whole idea of the PPAP is to develop the capacity of smallholder growers to operate like a business and become major partners or players in the respective industries.
The PPAP is an agriculture sector development initiative designed to improve the livelihoods of smallholder cocoa and coffee producers supported by the project.
A total of 17 coffee farmer representatives from the provinces attended the one-day meeting.
Approved for release:
Mr Potaisa Hombunaka
Manager Project Management Unit (coffee)
Productive Partnerships in Agriculture
Coffee Industry Corporation