By Augustine Dominic – Public Relations Officer
Morobe has beaten Simbu province to secure the third highest ranking coffee producing province in the country, according to the 2011 coffee production figures compiled by the Coffee Industry Corporation Ltd.
Chief Executive Officer of the Coffee Industry Corporation Ltd, Mr. Navi Anis revealed that Morobe’s coffee production made a historical record of 91, 051 while Simbu’s production fell short slightly at 71, 174 bags with close to 20, 000 bags difference.
He said however that production figure for Simbu province may not reflect its true status, as coffees from Simbu province are usually brought down to sell in Goroka and can be recorded under production figures for the Eastern Highlands Province.
The Eastern Highlands province led the production with 695, 312 bags while the Western Highlands Province with 543, 893 bags. The figures are usually collected and compiled by CIC through copies of sales dockets provided by coffee companies operating in each province.
Meanwhile, an elated Morobe based CIC’s Provincial Farmer Training & Extension Coordinator, Mr. Simon Gesip, expressed great delight of the news and praised the effort of networking partners in the Province including Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, the Bris Kanda, the Mainland Holdings Coffee Division, the Morobe Provincial Governments Extension arm of SSCF, all District DAL Officers and the coffee farmers in the provinces for their dedication and hard work.
He said the achievement was through committed partnerships between the above named organizations. Another factor to the high production is the determination of the humble Morobe farmers to target selling their coffee in the high value international coffee markets,” said Mr. Gesip.
Two advanced groups are the Neknasi Coffee Growers Corporative Group from Nawaeb District and the YUS Conservation Coffee from the remote Kabwum District. They have connected with Fairtrade (Australia & New Zealand) and America based coffee company, Caffe’ Vita respectively.
Other coffee farmer groups in the nine districts of Morobe province, including Finschaffen, Wau/Bulolo, Menyamya and Tewae/Siassi are preparing to follow suit.
According to a recent socio-economic survey done by the National Research Institute (NRI), Food Crop is the leading agricultural produce of the province, followed by betel nut and coffee.