Coffee farmers in remote airstrip serviced areas are in dire need of support and more collaborative efforts in getting their coffees flown into the nearest towns to access markets for better prices.
Niugini Aviation Services, a nationally owned company chief pilot Paul Gueme expressed great concern for coffee farmers in airstrips areas like Negabo, Pinoro and Karamui in Simbu Province and Maimafu in Eastern Highlands after airlifting 17,175kgs (17.2tons) of coffee from these airstrips last week.
“I have seen that more coffees are coming out from these remote airstrips and needs more funding. As I was flying into these airstrips last week, tons of coffees were piled up waiting for the next service flight to get them out to sell.”
He added that as a national airline company, they have been involved with the Coffee Freight Program and would like to see that these coffees are freighted out. “The small aircrafts we use a PAC 750 only carries 20 bags at a time and can manage to get more out as we have done this week.”
Mr Gueme indicated that more efforts in terms of funding is required by the airlines to assist in freighting these coffee out from the airstrips to the markets. Niugini Aviation would like to continue its work to freight coffee in addressing this issue and calls upon the Provincial and National Government to look seriously into putting more funding for this cause in serving these rural communities.
Coffee farmer Solomon Hame of Maimafu in the remote district of Lufa, Eastern Highlands with his coffee bags flown in from the area under CIC’s Freight Surety program last Friday (December 9th, 2016).