Walking with coffee bags for 3-4 days to the nearest jetty to be transported by sea to Alotau will be a thing of the past for the people of Agaun in Milne Bay Province. This comes after a coffee purchase and freight program which was launched in January this year by the Milne Bay Administration in partnership with the Coffee Industry Corporation.
The Chief Executive Officer of CIC Mr Anton Benjamin was in the province to meet with the provincial administration to look at a way forward for coffee production in Milne Bay.
“CIC is committed to support the districts’ coffee development plans so that this can empower farmers to improve their standard of living by making sure they get the maximum benefit from their produce”, said Mr Benjamin. He further stated that PNG has about 10-20 different coffee flavours mostly used to blend with other coffees in the world and is highly sought after.
Mr Benjamin said that the corporation’s focus for the New Year will look at working in partnership with districts on their coffee development plans, continue with its Freight Surety Program, District by District rehabilitation program and connecting farmers to markets through its various marketing and promotion activities.
Milne Bay Governor Hon. Titus Philemon was present to witness the launching of the freight program in Agaun and also see the air freighting of the first 18 coffee bags out of 670 to be flown to Gurney.
The provincial government has also committed a budget of K300, 000 on the coffee program for the year. A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed at a later date between the Milne Bay Provincial Administration and CIC to work with the coffee growing districts in the province.
With the support through the Freight Surety Program, farmers can improve their standard of living by purchasing household items to bring back to the village.
Loading coffee at the Agaun airstrip to be flown to Alotau, Milne Bay Province.