THE Eastern Highlands provincial administration is very supportive of the coffee rehabilitation work being undertaken by Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) through Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (PPAP).
Acting Provincial Administrator Samson Akunaii said the effort to improve and strengthen coffee industry is critical for the agriculture sector and particularly the smallholder growers in Eastern Highlands Province.
He therefore urged all stakeholders in the province to support CIC to improve and strengthen coffee industry which is the lifeline for millions of rural farmers in Papua New Guinea.
The acting PA announced his support after participating in a stringent World Bank Bid Evaluation process conducted by PPAP on January 21, 2016. Mr Akunaii was among other senior provincial administration officers like Deputy PA Ben Ulopo, Provincial Works Manager John Posagu, Provincial Treasurer Vilo Wartove, Provincial Policy Planning Adviser Peter Gare who met for five hours to evaluate five contractors for the rehabilitation of a 5km feeder road to provide market access to some 20,000 smallholder coffee growers in the remote Tairora area of Eastern Highlands Province.
An official announcement on the awarding of contract is expected to be made before June by Central Supply and Tenders Board (CSTB).
It was the first time for Eastern Highlands provincial administration to gain an insight into World Bank’s procurement and tender process conducted by CIC through its coffee component of PPAP.
Mr Akunaii on behalf of nine participants was very delighted to participate in the evaluation meeting which took place at the CIC headquarters in Goroka. Though there were only five contractors to evaluate which took nearly five hours, the acting provincial administrator said it was a worthwhile learning process and the hours spent was an investment to them.
He therefore requested the CIC team to email the WB procurement and Bid evaluation process to them for their consideration with the provincial works office to improve governance and management of public funds.
Mr Akunaii also alluded to this opportunity provided by CIC to bring together knowledge and experience from different officers in government and public sector to learn how to run a stringent procurement process.
The World Bank’s Bid Evaluation process was rigorous and considered among others the past performance of the contractors, financial capacity and annual financial turnovers of the bidders.
This Bid evaluation process was strictly guided by the World Bank’s Standard Bidding Document known asProcurement of Small Works, The World Bank, December 2012. The evaluation also included a tough scoring and weighing system which CIC will use to justify the elimination process.
Project Manager for PPAP Potaisa Hombunaka welcomed the support of senior Eastern Highlands provincial administrators and CIC for participating in the project’s first tender evaluation meeting which follows the World Bank criteria.
He reiterated Mr Akunaii’s call for all sectors to combine their efforts in such meetings to develop and move Eastern Highlands and Papua New Guinea forward.
The PPAP is an agriculture sector development initiative designed to improve the livelihood of smallholder cocoa and coffee producers supported by the project. The coffee rehabilitation efforts are being undertaken through the following three main components:
- Providing Industry Coordination and Policy Development to improve the performance of sector institutions in the coffee sector;
- Developing Productive Partnerships in the public-private alliances in project areas with the goal of improving productivity and market linkages; and
- Improving Market Access for smallholder coffee growers in the target areas or provinces.
Acting Eastern Highlands acting Provincial Administrator Samson Akunaii leading the way to use the calculator on his mobile phone to go through some calculations in the World Bank’s tender evaluation meeting at CIC head office Goroka which took nearly five hours. It was a learning experience for the senior provincial administrators.