The Research and Grower Services Division (R & GSD) located in Aiyura, Eastern Highlands Province, carries out scientific research on coffee.
- Crop Improvement – agronomy, breeding, soils and plant nutrition.
- Crop Protection – pathology and entomology.
- Post Harvest – appropriate post harvest technologies, coffee waste management and coffee quality research.
Crop improvement research looks three fundamental areas that address high production of quality coffee. This areas are:
- Agronomy – this area looks at better farming practices and technologies that result in high yielding crop production to attain sustainability for the industry. These practices and technologies are then communicated to farmers to implement.
- Breeding – this area looks at breeding improved coffee varieties that are suitable for growth in particular areas of the country.
- Soils & Plant Nutrition – this area looks at improved soil and crop condition to extend the life cycle of the crop and also to improve production.
Insect pests and diseases affecting coffee production are the coffee green scales Coccus celatus and C. viridis, coffee leaf rusts (Hemileia vastatrix) and pink disease (Phanerochaete salmonicolor formerly named asCorticium salmonicolor). Through extensive research conducted by scientists attached to the divison, it is now known that most pest and diseases of coffee in PNG is manageable, through implementation of appropriate coffee management practices.
- Coffee Leaf Rust – Epidemiological studies of coffee leaf rus (CLR) carried out in the past between 1988 and 2000 revealed occurrence of less virulent strains, which causes minor outbreaks underundernourished and neglected coffee farms. Peak incidence of CLR occurs between October and January annually following the onset of North Easterly monsoonal rains. It can be controlled using appropriate pruning techniques and with Copper fungicides.
- Coffee Green Scale – Biological control using Metaphycus baruensis from Kenya was released in early 1990 to control coffee green scale. Its impact is limited in the field mainly affected by lack of knowledge on coffee green scale and the parasitoid that causes it. Research on coffee green scale focuses on the use of integrated pest management(IPM) technologies as a strategy for long-term management.
- Coffee Berry Borer – Most serious pest of coffee affecting production in most countries. It is not present in PNG. The Government is supporting an initiative from the CIC to prevent it from entering the country. Preventative action programs include awareness and literacy, monitoring and surveillance, emergency response planning and forging partnerships with international research institutions.
Post harvest looks at issues that result from the production of coffee. These include coffee quality improvement and coffee waste management. The main focus of this research involve:
- Establishment of standard coffee profiling.
- Improving factory processing machineries and methods.
- Minimising incidences and impact of waste pollution on the environment.
- Developing appropriate farming processs and activities to absorb resulting coffee waste.
- Coffee Quality profiling
- Coffee Quality assessment and database
- Quality lab Improvement
- Upgrading PNG coffee exportable grades
- Development of Extension training manuals
Processing Machineries and Methods
- Design appropriate technologies for coffee machineries
- Improve processing methods
- Development of Drying facilities
- Develop Standard Storage sheds for remote farmers
- Development of smallholder coffee processing
Waste treatment systems
- Waste water database
- Monitoring of coffee waste water pollution
- Regulation of waste pollution
- Design appropriate Treatment systems
- Water Laboratory
- Solid Waste Management practices
- Standardised Waste Disposal systems