One of the biggest growers or farmers’ groups is calling for a “well-coordinated and result-oriented partnership” of all stakeholders in the coffee industry.
The call was made by Chairman of PNG Smallholders Coffee Growers Association Inc (SHCGA) Joseph Kom. The group represents over two million growers in all coffee growing provinces in the country.
Mr Kom says it is critically important that all stakeholders in the industry including growers should work together with Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) to take the coffee industry to the next level.
The succeeding phase is for farmers to become businessmen and women to grow and sustain the industry and their livelihood.
Mr Kom acknowledges the ongoing support from CIC to many rural farmers in Papua New Guinea.
“I embrace the support from CIC and want to see a well-coordinated and result-oriented partnership among stakeholders in the value chain including District Development Authorities (DDA), Local Level and Provincial Governments, NGOs, exporters and processors.
“Nothing is impossible. Together we can recover and lift coffee production and quality and add value to the lives of million growers in the country.”
Mr Kom alludes to an earlier statement by CIC’s project manager for Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (PPAP), Potaisa Hombunaka, challenging farmers to re-think and operate as a business.
“We have been farmers for many years. We must become businessmen and women in the coffee industry. This is the thinking or concept we must in-build and work towards growing our smallholder growers to the next level to sustain their lives and that of the industry.”
Chairman Kom also acknowledges the coffee rehabilitation efforts being implemented by CIC under PPAP and funded by World Bank IAD, IFAD with support funding from the Government of PNG.
One of those efforts under component one is to improve and strengthen and improve linkages of sector institutions in the coffee industry.
“Government talks about 85 per cent of the country’s population who are struggling in the villages yet contributing effectively to the rural economy, but the system is not delivering to them.
“I therefore appeal to our public servants to improve monitoring and evaluation of government’s service delivery systems for our hard working rural farmers and their mothers and children to feel important as well.
“The coffee and agriculture sector is the lifeline of our rural people. Hence the imminent appointment of a Board for coffee is important following recent progress. Because this will provide check-and-balance in the management and performance of the sector.”
Mr Kom who represents smallholder coffee growers in Simbu Province was elected as chairman of PNG SHCGA Inc in November last year. He replaces Peter Kewa of Western Highlands SHCGA. Approved for release: Mr Joseph Kom Chairman PNG Smallholders Coffee Growers Association Inc (SHCGA)
Mr Joseph Kom
Chairman – PNG Smallholders Coffee Growers Association Inc (SHCGA)