The productive partnerships in agriculture project is again calling on the government to release the K20 million it had allocated to eradicate the coffee berry borer.
Chairman Ian Mopafi was responding to a statement by Minister for National Planning and Monitoring Richard Maru who had written to Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Charles Abel to release the money. Mopafi said the coffee pest should be dealth with urgently to save the industr’s 3.5 million growers in 16 provinces.
“We’re extending our coverage into new areas. It is vital to continue maintaining a high level of interest among our growers to revive existing coffee gardens,” he said.
“(But) the CBB threat can force many growers to uproot coffee and plant vegetables for their income.”
Mopafi said containment exercise and awareness were of immediate priority, requiring urgent financial support.
“If we do not act now we will see the full impact of this pest and we can say good bye to the industry. This is no joke,” he said.
Mopafi warned of the economic implications and social ramifications which could be disastrous.
“We’re dealing with the livelihood of million households here,” he said.
Mopafi is a coffee trader in Eastern Highlands.
He said there was a high possibility of the pest spreading to other coffee producing provinces in the highlands region which will impact on the industry.