By Augustine Dominic
Coffee is tipped as a catalyst for rural economic development in the Pomio District of East New Britain. This follows its introduction as an alternative cash crop recently.
Over 20 farmers and agricultural officers from all LLGs of the district recently visited coffee establishments in Lae, Madang, Aiyura and Goroka to familiarise themselves with major aspects of coffee production, ranging from farming to processing and marketing.
From these exposures, they are expected to formulate a coffee development plan for the district. They also intend to develop partnerships with the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) Ltd and other organisations to implement the plan, starting in 2012.
Chief Executive Officer of CIC, Navi Anis, stated that the East New Britain province is being recognised as a new growth area for coffee. He says it is good that Pomio and other districts in the province are taking the initiative to venture into coffee.
He said their participation along with other new growth areas like Milne Bay, Oro and Central provinces is consistent with the Revised PNG Coffee Industry Strategic Plan 2008-2018, which focuses on boosting the overall coffee production of the country, which has been stagnant in the past decade.
The delegates visited the CIC Export Office in Lae, Coffee Research Stations in Madang and Aiyura and the coffee manufacturing factory of Arabicas Ltd in Goroka.
Marketing Manager for Arabicas Ltd, Lawrence Binape showed the visitors around his factory and the processes involved roasting, grinding, and packaging. Mr Binape also indicated that Arabicas Ltd can process Pomio’s own brand of coffee.