FARMERS have been urged to stop the habit of cutting down and removing tree crops and others when their price is down.
Manager of Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (coffee component) Potaisa Hombunaka told farmers at Waragom Village, Maprik in East Sepik Province to look after all cash crops.
“Don’t cut or remove when price is down. The high price you’re enjoying will not last for ever.”
Mr Hombunaka was referring to the habit of farmers cutting down and removing coffee, cocoa and vanilla vanilla when the price plunged very low and replacing with other cash crops or garden produce.
The price of vanilla is now at its peak at between K700 and K900 per kilogram and farmers in the hinterland of East Sepik Province are returning to growing vanilla.
“If you plant cash crops like vanilla, cocoa and coffee, you must look after all of them to expand your source of income.
“This is integrated farming. The income from all these crops will continue to sustain your cash flow.
“It is important that you continue to have money from all these crops to improve your wellbeing.”
The farmers in Maprik, Yangoru and Wosera are taking part in cocoa and coffee rehabilitation. They were visited by members of the 13th World Bank-led implementation support mission (ISM) to check rehabilitation activities in the province.
Included in the mission were IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) officials. Some PNG Government representatives from Department of Agriculture & Livestock, Treasury and National Planning & Monitoring departments, Coffee Industry Corporation and PNG Cocoa Board also travelled with the mission and shared with the farmers.
The cocoa rehabilitation at Waragom Village is a partnership effort by World Vision, World Bank and IFAD.
The Task Team Leader of the mission Mr Stephane Forman encouraged the farmers to take advantage of the rehabilitation projects and increase production to earn more income to improve their lifestyle.
“There are millions are there and only 60,000 target households for cocoa and coffee are taking part in this rehabilitation projects.
“You’re fortunate so make the most of it. Put to use the knowledge and skills you have acquired from trainings like working together now in your nursery garden,” said Mr Forman who visited the country for the first time.
Mr Forman operates from World Bank Sydney office, Australia.
Project Manager of PPAP cocoa Dr John Moxon attended to the farmers queries and urged them to continue work together as a group.
“Working as a group is important for you to help each other. This is the intention of this project.”
The Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (PPAP) is implementing cocoa and coffee rehabilitation with lead partners and farmers in the hinterland of East Sepik.
A project management unit within PNG Cocoa Board (PNGCB) is coordinating its component of the rehabilitation effort from Kokopo covering other cocoa producing provinces as well. The same for coffee where a PMU within Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) is coordinating industry rehabilitation activities in 10 coffee growing provinces from Goroka.
The PNGCB and CIC are custodians of the industry rehabilitation programs through the Department of Agriculture & Livestock. The PNG Government took out a loan with World Bank and IFAD in 2016 to finance these projects. Funding has been extended for the cocoa and coffee rehabilitation to June 2019.
The CIC-PPAP coffee manager Mr Potaisa Hombunaka advising farmers at Waragom Village to stop the habit of cutting down tree crops when their price is low but to look after all of them to sustain their income.
Approved for release:
Potaisa H. Hombunaka (Mr)
PROJECT MANAGER of CIC-PPAP