THE Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (coffee component) is helping Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) with K1 million to combat the coffee berry borer (CBB) pest.
Project Manager for PPAP Mr Potaisa Hombunaka reiterated the commitment again during a field visit to CBB infested gardens in Asaro District of Eastern Highlands Province on Friday 14 July.
He said the money will be used to purchase tools and materials like bowsaws, bush knives, files, spades, secateurs or scissors, knapsacks and weedicides to clean and prune infested coffee gardens.
The CBB traps and posters will be funded as well under this commitment.
“The lack of immediate attention by the government to release K20 million to the Coffee Industry Corporation to contain the spread of CBB pest is very disappointing to say the least.”
“Hence the intervention by PPAP coffee is crucial to help the CBB team attend to these infested gardens quickly before more pests spread to other gardens.”
The project manager was accompanied by a full team of PPAP officers to see first-hand the impact of the CBB pest on coffee gardens in Asaro. The officers also talked to the farmers and CBB team headed by Dr Mark Kenny, General Manager of CIC’s Research & Growers Service Division.
Dr Kenny said his officers attended to only 18 hectares of infested gardens with clear pruning and setting up of CBB traps.
He said the total infested area in Asaro is 186 ha while the other 178 ha of infested gardens continue to spread the pest where infestation of non-infestation gardens continue.
The PPAP coffee is also helping CIC with the recruitment of a CBB expert. The World Bank a co-financier of the coffee rehabilitation project under PPAP has responded positively to a term of reference to hire a CBB specialist who will advise on the pest and the control measures.
“PNG is the second last country in the world after Senegal for the CBB pest to enter so this pest is new to us. This is why we need an expert to advise on CBB including appropriate actions and containment measures.”
“The funding support for CBB is part of capacity building for CIC under component 1 of the PPAP project,” explains Mr Hombunaka.
The PPAP is a Coffee Industry Corporation project through the Department of Agriculture & Livestock. It is financed by a loan facility from World Bank (IDA) and IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) with counter-funding from PNG Government.
Approved for release:
Potaisa H. Hombunaka (Mr)
PROJECT MANAGER of CIC-PPAP