Wednesday 31 August 2022

Prime Minister, James Marape has urged coffee growers, investors and stakeholders   to support his government   in revamping the once thriving industry.

Prime Minister said this was totally necessary to give new direction and focus on re-establishing the cash crop.

He said coffee was and still is the life-line and economic security for ordinary Papua New Guineans and businesses, that specialize in the development, processing and export of the commodity.

Prime Minister Marape however said it was unfortunate that over the years the crop had been allowed to deteriorate through lack of attention, research and development, grower incentives, infrastructure development, downstream processing and other value-adding innovations.

“This time around and under my government, the country has no choice but to directly deal with the industry under a newly created Ministry to oversee its expansion from production through to manufacturing and export.”

The coffee industry contributes about six per cent (6%) to the National GDP which is estimated at K856 million per annum.

On average, the coffee industry contributes between K400 million and K500 million per year to the economy, derived from export revenue.

However, he said with the decline in recent years, production had fluctuated between 600,000 bags and 1.2 million bags in the past 10 years.

Mr Marape   has expressed concerned over the industry’s inability to maintain production levels over one million or more bags per year.

“In terms of world trade, PNG production and exports remains at an average of about 1.1 per cent (1.1%) of the world market share.”

Focusing on the medium and long-term outlook the Prime Minister said the outlook for coffee globally was very promising with consumption growth rates increasing in China, Japan and India.

He said because of this, the demand for PNG coffee would remain buoyant and strong growth was focused in the long term.

“To take advantage of this positive outlook, the new Coffee Minister will work hard and closely with the industry to restore this lucrative and ongoing market for the benefit of the economy in the midst of current hard times and for the sake of small Papua New Guinean growers.”

He said coffee was grown in 17 of the country’s 22 provinces with 524,400 households engaged in cultivation and trade to sustain their livelihoods, according to the 2011 National Population Census.

He added that 92 per cent of total coffee production was from the Highlands with the balance from the other three regions of the country.

“There were about 250 block holders in farm sizes ranging from 5-30 hectares, 65 plantations, 25 registered exporters, 12 roasters/manufacturers, 58 licenced dry factories, 33 wet factories and an estimated 6,000 unregistered seasonal roadside.

“Currently, there are about 60,000 small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the coffee sub-sector.”

Mr Marape said the coffee industry was too valuable to remain untendered due to its economic value and importance for the long-term benefit of Papua New Guinea and its people.

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