Anyone involved in business or other economic activities in the remote and fertile Karimui area of Chimbu Province knows her.
She is their ‘queen bee’ and she is always there for coffee farmers, vegetable farmers and other business people who would like to transport their goods in and out of Karimui by air.
She is none other than the ward member Helen Genai, who has made it her duty to be the middle person between the small airlines that operate between Karimui and Goroka or Kundiawa.
The Karimui area is one of the very fertile lands in the country but its inaccessibility by road as seen farmers many cash crops go to waste, because they are not brought to the markets.
But over the last 20 years, ward member Helen Genai or the Karimui ‘Queen Bee’ has played a very important role among the lives of the farmers, especially coffee and peanut farmers and small business people.
Ms Genai mobilises all the farmers and businesses that have goods to transport by air and makes arrangements with either MAF of the Adventist Aviation planes to transport their goods to and from Karimui.
Through her role, the woman councilor for 15 years has benefited many farmers, small businesses and even bringing basic government services into the area.
During an exclusive interview with the Queen Bee recently in Goroka, she told the Post-Courier of a coffee green bean processing machine which she has bought for the coffee farmers in Karimui.
“The Coffee Industries Corporation has assisted in purchasing the coffee green bean processing machine for the coffee farmers in Karimui,”Ms Genai said.
The green bean machine was airlifted to Karimui last month and it will be officially launched before the coffee farmers of Karamui process their coffee into green beans transported to the markets.
Cr Genai also works with the agriculture department, the Catholic Church and Coffee Industry Corporation for the benefit of the Karimui people.
“The Agriculture department has tried out cocoa farming, vanilla and rice in Karimui which are all growing very well,” Ms Genai said.
She thanks CIC for subsidising the freight cost for coffee farmers in Karimui over the years and also extended the gratitude to the Agriculture department and the local MPs for also subsidising the air freight cost for the farmers and small businesses operating in Karimui.
She said Karimui coffee came third in the last coffee cupping in the country and this included Marawaka coffee.
Ms Genai urged the government to get the organic coffee from the rural areas into the outside markets.
Ms Genai urged the Chimbu provincial government to prioritise Karimui as its resource centre to generate income for the province through agriculture, because the Karimui people are now moving in and out from Goroka.
Karimui is a local level government in the Salt Nomane Karimui district of Chimbu Province and is only accessible by air.
However, if you decide to walk, then you will have to cross the mighty Waghi River on an inflated vehicle tube or raft, then walk to Gumine district in Simbu or Ungai district in the Eastern Highlands Province to get into Goroka and Kundiawa, or to go to Karimui.
Most of the services in Karimui are flown in, while cash crops like coffee, peanut, cocoa and other vegetable are flown out from Karimui using either MAF or the Adventist Aviation planes.
Individual farmers could not afford to transport his or her cash crops by plane to the outside market because its unprofitable.