Mum joins coffee rehab work

JULIE P. Waramboi has become the second woman recipient of Coffee Industry Corporation’s industry rehabilitation funding to help over 800 coffee households in the rural Wain-Erap LLG of Morobe Province.

 Julie of Wia Trade Enterprises Ltd signed a K2.6 million partnership agreement with CIC’s Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (PPAP) at the company’s premises at Nadzab on Monday 24 October.

 Under the agreement Julie will work with co-partner Kasuka Coffee Cooperative Society to service 813 farmers in the blue mountains of Wain-Erap. The bulk of coffee production from Morobe Province comes out from this area.

 “It will be a challenge but I’m confident to deliver for the benefit of our struggling farmers,” says Julie.

Julie aged 41 has three children and takes the lead in running their family business, Wia Trade Enterprises Ltd for the last 10 years in Lae. The company specializes in distributing industry chemicals and agriculture products. Recently they constructed a warehouse at Nadzab along the Markham section of the Highlands Highway.

 She has been working with rural mothers in the Wain-Erap area and is not new to their many challenges.

“As a woman I’m aware of the difficulties women in the area face and will see that the coffee development work touches their lives as well,” says Julie.

 Project Manager Potaisa Hombunaka confirmed during the agreement signing that Julie is the second women Lead Partner for the CIC-PPAP program.

 “Mipela lukim ol meri ken ronim project tu na bilip dispela wok bai karim kaikai” (We’ve seen the successful participation of women in this project as Lead Partner and confident of this one as well to be led by a woman partner).

 “Why bai ol meri no inap mekim gut wok agrikalsa” (Why women shouldn’t do well as Lead Partners in agriculture work)”.

 The first woman Lead Partner is Ms Daisy Casupang of Timbuka Coffee Ltd who is serving 432 farmers in Western Highlands and Jiwaka Province under call 2 proposals. The success of Timbunka has convinced CIC-PPAP Board or Industry Coordination Committee to approve additional funding for up-scaling under call 4 proposals to service additional 2112 farmers.

 Wia Trade Enterprise under Julie’s leadership will help farmers improve their coffee gardens, supply basic farming tools like hand coffee pulpers and organize farmers for training in best practices to increase yield and quality. The Lead Partner and Kasuka Coffee Cooperative are also expected to train and organize farmers for group marketing of green bean coffee to a direct market overseas for a fair price.

 “We will help to link our farmers to local and overseas markets and a mill will also stand here to process our coffee,” reveals Julie where the ground breaking ceremony was also witnessed after the signing. 

 Construction of a green bean processing mill at Wia Trade’s premises at Nadzab would cost the company K1.5 million. This is to add value to the farmers’ coffee so they can realise better price for producing quality coffee. The coffee could be branded and marketed as Wain Blue Mountain Coffee said Julie. 

 The heads of eight farmer cluster groups or CoPartners  in the Wain-Erap LLG namely Torowa, Gis, Sabang, Kalebo, Bayang, Lawarong, Balawang and Tafito who will operate under Kasuka Cooperative also signed the agreement.

 The agreement sets out to achieve the following:

        Lead Partner will provide just over 200,000 coffee seedlings for distribution to farmers;

        Improve 813 coffee gardens;

        The farmers to sell or market close to 1,000 tonnes of coffee by the end of project;

        To improve coffee quality through the introduction of pulpers and training on post-harvest practices

        To train 3,000 people on various skills training courses based on their assessment needs.

        To integrate honey bee with coffee to increase production and quality.

Mr Hombunaka explained the project funding for each Lead Partner under call 4 includes K100,000 purposely for integration of honey bee with coffee.

“This is the first funding to boost honey bee production and also to increase pollination of coffee cherries by domesticated bees,” says Mr Hombunaka.

 The signing of partnership agreement between CIC-PPAP and Wia Trade Enterprises and Co Partners was witnessed by the farmers and their families at a peaceful gathering. Also present at the ceremony were Morobe provincial advisors for Community Development and DAL, CIC officials from Goroka and Lae office, farmers and their families and media personnel from Lae.

 The PPAP is a CIC project through the Department of Agriculture & Livestock financed by a loan facility from World Bank, IDA and IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) with support funding from PNG Government.

Julie Waramboi

Project Manager Potaisa Hombunaka (right) with CIC and Morobe provincial government officials taking part in the ground breaking ceremony at Nadzab where the K1.5 million coffee mill will be constructed to service farmers in the blue mountains of Wain-Erap.

Farmers and families from Wain-Erap enjoying mumu after the official signing ceremony at Nadzab.