Government’s Freight Subsidy Support program for Coffee Farmers a Success
by Paul Oeka - February 07, 2023
Photo: Charles Dambui
Statistics in 2022 have proven that the return of the Government’s investment in subsidizing price and freight for local coffee farmers is working.
Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) Acting Chief Executive Officer Charles Dambui said the K1 million price and subsidy funding generated K7 million last year, and the Government’s intervention of K30 million for the price and freight subsidy in the 2023 National Budget is commendable.
“In terms of coffee, we always prioritize farmers that are reached by third-level airlines which are followed by Marine transportation and then of course by road. As we speak, the freight cost of getting a kilogram of coffee from a remote area across to the buying point is equivalent to the coffee price so sometimes you will realize that it is not economical,” Dambui said.
Mr Dambui stated that the continuation of the Marape Government’s subsidy program will increase coffee production statistics and put more money into rural farmer’s pockets.
He predicts there will be a likely increase in coffee production in 2023 on the back of the National Government’s financial support in the price and freight subsidy program.
“The government gave us K1 million for the freight subsidy and the return on investment was K7 million, in actual fact we freighted the coffee out from remote areas using that K1 million and when the cost of export was calculated it generated almost K7 million, so the freight subsidy program is the way forward,” he said.
The Minister for Agriculture, Aye Tambua, recently presented cheques to CIC with other agriculture commodity boards that received their first share of funding from the K30 million price and freight subsidy program -- this means the price of parchment coffee will now be tied at K7 per kilogram.
A portion of K1.5 million was given to the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) to carry out the price and freight subsidy support program this year.
Under its 2023 budget, the government has allocated a total of K30 million for the agriculture price support program and K20 million for the freight subsidy. The price support is specifically designed to support all commodities across the country to boost production in those sectors.
"The government has taken the right steps by setting the price at K7 and the CICs job is to make sure that the K7 price is realized by the farmers on the ground. We are taking that onboard and we will be working with selected buying points to ensure that we drive the government policy,” Dambui said.
Meanwhile, the CIC will continue to invest time and money to contain coffee berry borer pests throughout the country.
Dambui said the National Government’s drive to increase production level for this agricultural cash crop will fail if the disease wipes out the multimillion-kina coffee industry of the country.
“Without the coffee beans, all our initiatives will come to a stop so that's why our focus now is to control and contain the spread of the coffee berry borer. It's an economic pest that has a high chance of reducing the production in PNG as well as the country's coffee export,” he said.
"The coffee berry borer is currently spreading but the government is seriously looking into it to support the coffee industry so that we can control and minimize the spread of coffee berry borer,” Dambui said.
PNG Business News - April 08, 2021
Chamber: Businesses are Hoping for Recovery in the Coffee Industry
According to the Goroka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), business is sluggish in Goroka, Eastern Highlands, but there is hope that the situation will change when the coffee industry picks up. In a market update, GCCI president Chris Anders said that coffee has always had a significant influence on the local economy. “Business has been slow the last few weeks, the main coffee crop in the Eastern Highlands should start to come through in the next few weeks,” he said.“This will put some cash into the economy and business should pick up.” According to the Coffee Industry Corporation, the province is second only to the Western Highlands in terms of coffee production. The province's largest cash crop is coffee. Coffee remains PNG's second-biggest agricultural export earner, contributing K2.4 billion in export revenue between 2014 and 2018 and processing around 259,000 tonnes of coffee beans, according to figures from the Agriculture and Livestock Department. Meanwhile, Anders claimed that the majority of companies complied with the Covid-19 pandemic controls. “But the people are not social distancing and not all are wearing masks which is a concern,” he said. “The main market is still a concern as this is where a large number of people gather.” Goroka market is currently at Peace Park.
PNG Business News - April 12, 2021
Governments Struggle with Providing Facilities, Says Study
Governments in some coffee-producing countries have struggled to provide facilities that encourage the cultivation and processing of high-quality coffee. Strategies for improving coffee production and processing in Papua New Guinea: Lessons from the top five coffee-producing countries, a report by the PNG National Research Institute (NRI), highlighted the country's coffee production and processing and proposed development strategies based on lessons learned from the top five coffee-producing countries in the world. Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, Ethiopia, and Papua New Guinea were among the six coffee-producing countries studied across four continents. The study's abstract can be found below. Introduction Coffee is the second most important agricultural crop in Papua New Guinea (PNG), after oil palm. Coffee processing produced jobs as well as foreign currency earnings. From 2012 to 2017, coffee accounted for 27% of total agricultural exports and 6% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). It helped PNG's economy in a variety of ways, including transportation, construction, manufacturing, retail and wholesale, insurance, and banking. Arabica is a coffee species that is widely grown in PNG, mostly in the Highlands between 700 and 2,050 meters above sea level. Robusta is grown in coastal areas of PNG at elevations of up to 550 meters above sea level. PNG produces high-quality, fine-flavour Arabica coffee, which is highly sought after by coffee drinkers. Coffee production in PNG, on the other hand, seems to be decreasing. Between 1998 and 2018, according to a survey by AECOM (2018) on PNG coffee market research, exports fell to 934 60kg bags. In the foreign market, the price of coffee has also been falling over time. The implication is that, since the two components of coffee revenue (output and price) to producers are decreasing, the revenue would decline over time, resulting in significant consequences for the producers and the PNG economy. Results of study In Papua New Guinea, the annual area of coffee fields cultivated ranges from 41,000 hectares in 2002 to 87,000 hectares in 1999. In PNG, the area of coffee fields cultivated decreased by 33% from 81,000 hectares in 1998 to 54,000 hectares in 2018. When compared to the smallest area of coffee field harvest among the top five nations, PNG's largest harvested area (87,000 hectares) is 71% less than the smallest harvested area (220,000 hectares). The amount of coffee beans processed has decreased by 28% from 81,000 tonnes in 1998 to 58,000 tonnes in 2018. It's worth noting that there was no data available for 2008. Over the course of the research, PNG's annual coffee production was lower than that of the top five coffee-producing countries. Vietnam had the most coffee harvested per hectare of the top five coffee-producing countries. It jumped from 1,875 kg/ha in 1998 to 2,612 kg/ha in 2018, a 39 percent rise. Brazil harvested 816 kilograms per hectare in 1998 and 1,906 kilograms per hectare in 2018, a 134 per cent rise. Findings from a literature review on key challenges to coffee production and processing in Papua New Guinea The following are some of the obstacles to coffee production and processing in PNG: INADEQUATE access to basic infrastructure and facilities – Smallholder farmers, especially those in rural areas, struggle to find facilities for coffee milling and storage. There were no decent roads for transporting agricultural supplies and goods to and from their coffee fields. FARM management activities – Most coffee trees have reached the end of their economic sustainable life cycle, resulting in a decrease in crop yield. Producers postpone or fail to perform required coffee husbandry activities such as daily pruning and the planting of shade trees. REDUCED YIELD AND Uneven PRODUCT QUALITY – The quality of coffee produced in PNG is deteriorating. INADEQUATE extension services – Coffee farmers, especially smallholders, need education on modern coffee production methods. They, on the other hand, often find it impossible to obtain services from extension agents. TECHNOLOGY – Modern technology can help coffee farmers increase productivity and increase the appeal of their commodity. Coffee farmers in PNG, on the other hand, often lack modern technologies, which limits their ability to reach their full potential in the coffee industry. CHANGE IN CROPPING Trend – Due to a drop in coffee market prices or problems with access to coffee processing facilities, some coffee farmers turn all or part of their coffee fields to other more cost-effective crops. The turn to other crops may also be due to labour shortages for essential farm tasks including pruning coffee trees and picking coffee beans. PESTS and diseases – Other threats threatening coffee production include the coffee berry borer, coffee leaf rust, coffee green scale, and pink disease (DAL, 2020). UNFAVORABLE MARKET PRICES – The price paid to smallholder coffee farmers is often less than the rate paid to exporters. Smallholders are also discouraged from paying attention to required farm activities, which has an effect on coffee productivity. FINANCIAL ACCESS – Certain coffee farmers choose to grow their farm or buy coffee processing equipment. They, on the other hand, frequently have difficulty obtaining loans from commercial banks. ACCESS TO LAND FOR COMMERCIAL COFFEE PRODUCTION – A wide area of land is required for commercial coffee production to be productive, particularly in terms of economies of scale. Broad tracts of land with proper names, on the other hand, are often difficult to navigate. This is due to the fact that the state-owned property with proper titles is almost depleted. Communal-owned property, which accounts for nearly 97 per cent of total land in PNG, lacks proper titles; and SECURITY issues – Theft of coffee goods, particularly in rural areas, is a major concern for farmers and raises production costs and losses. Discussion The results of this study revealed that PNG has the potential to become one of the world's leading coffee producers. The country's climatic and environmental conditions are ideal for growing a variety of coffee varieties, giving it an advantage over some of the world's top coffee producers. This may explain why, according to the study, PNG had a higher average coffee yield per hectare than all of the top five coffee-producing countries except Vietnam. However, the region of cultivated coffee fields and the quantity of coffee produced by PNG have remained lower than those of the other top five coffee-producing countries studied in this report. The PPAP, which is being implemented by the government with the support of the World Bank, has the ability to increase PNG's coffee production and make the country more competitive in the coffee industry. However, the PPAP benefits only certain coffee farmers, making it impossible to achieve the desired rise in coffee demand. More robust and reliable monitoring and evaluation processes are needed for the PPAP to contribute more meaningfully to the coffee market. The project should place a greater emphasis on coffee tree replanting and plantation regeneration. To increase overall coffee production in PNG, all coffee growers should have access to the PPAP (for example, through an all inclusion program).
PNG Business News - March 29, 2021
Coffee Demand Has Declined, According to a Survey
According to estimates from a survey, coffee production in the country has been decreasing for the past ten years. “From 1998 to 2018, the coffee harvest area and quantity of coffee produced in PNG decreased by 33 per cent and 28 per cent respectively,” a National Research Institute (NRI) report stated. The downturn was triggered by the problems that coffee growers face, such as a shortage of processing facilities, insufficient extension resources, and restricted access to finance. The problems could be resolved by the strategies suggested by NRI deputy director for research Prof Euegene Ezebilo and Prof Carolyn Afolami of the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, based on the fact that “PNG has ideal environmental and climatic conditions for growing high-quality coffee.” They concluded in their paper, Strategies for improving coffee production and processing in PNG: Lessons from the top five coffee-producing countries, that the government's "political will" was critical in moving the coffee industry forward. “And this can be done by promoting effective extension services and training coffee growers on modern systems and innovations in producing coffee; provide funds for research and farm management practices; and, support farmers through loans facility at low-interest rates,” NRI said in a statement. “Policymakers, planners and agricultural managers are urged to take heed of the findings to make informed decisions on boosting the yield and quality of this commodity.”
Paul Oeka - March 27, 2023
Papua LNG project to Minimise Economic Challenges
Photo: Petroleum Minister Kerenga Kua Petroleum Minister Kerenga Kua has recently stated that the Papua LNG project is critical in addressing some of the economic challenges that are currently faced in the country. He said about K75 billion will be generated over a 15 year period when the project is in progress. He added that the initial stages of the project has commenced with K500 million said to be inputted into PNGs foreign exchange capacity in 2023. During a press conference on Thursday the 9th of March, The Petroleum minister highlighted the progressive stages of the Papua LNG project and emphasized the importance and significance of the benefits that the project will provide. According to studies the project life is expected to operate over a 15 year period that will generate about K75 billion and significantly boost Papua New Guinea's struggling economy. "The K75 billion benefit is inclusive of what comes to the state directly as levies, to Kumul Petroleum, to the landowners as royalties and the provincial governments. All of us put together are going to be collecting and sharing that benefit in the next 15 to 20 years", Kua said. Minister Kua said that studies for the Papua LNG project began in 2004 following the discovery by Interoil, the resource estimate is in the range of 6 trillion cubic feet of gas and 98 to 100 million barrels of condensive oil. The benefit of this project is immense and a positive component is the national content which is expected to positively impact GDP, export earnings, forex, revenue to impacted levels of government, landowner benefits and Job opportunities. Minister Kua said the project developer Total Energies will inject K500 million into the PNG economy in 2023. "The Papua LNG project is a project of national significance for Papua New Guinea and will stimulate business confidence and will provide a significant impetus for our economy", "The Marape-Rosso government places high priority on the delivery of the Papua LNG project, we have an improved deal for our people, and improved contribution for our national contractors and workforce. The government strongly supports the Papua LNG project and encourages all stakeholders including project partners to work diligently to deliver the project on time and on budget", Minister Kua said. Petroleum Secretary David Manau was also present at the conference, he highlighted that the petroleum department will work closely with impacted provincial governments and landowners as this is important in ensuring that all stakeholder grievances are discussed and addressed. In light of this, a development forum is expected in the third quarter of this year. Meanwhile, Kua also revealed a unique aspect of the upcoming project which will mitigate the project's carbon footprint and is set to make PNG in becoming the first country in the Asia Pacific region and only the second on the world to re-inject carbon dioxide back into the well pad in a LNG project. He said the re-inspection of carbon dioxide into the well pad is a significant step towards reducing the project's carbon footprint and will help mitigate the environmental impact of the project and contribute to Papua New Guinea's efforts to combat climate change. The Papua LNG project is a joint venture between the PNG government, TotalEnergies and Exxon Mobil. It is one of the largest investments in the country's history and is expected to generate significant revenue for PNG's economy. Total Energies holds 40.1 percent interest in Papua LNG, along with its joint venture partners Exxon Mobil (37.1 percent) and Santos(22.8 percent). The Papua New Guinea government may exercise a back-in right of up to 22.5 percent interest at the Final Investment Decision (FDI) planned by end of 2023 to early 2024 and production will be scheduled for four years later.
PNG Business News - March 27, 2023
WanPNG: The Skills Development and Jobs Platform for the People of Papua New Guinea
Wan PNG is a platform and community dedicated to expanding opportunities for local Papua New Guineans. Its goal is to increase the development and sustainable employment of local PNG talent, so everyone in our great nation can share in newfound resources and growing prosperity. With the goal of empowering individuals and businesses with the skills and people they need to succeed in the 21st century world, the Wan PNG platform spans three core areas for job seekers: Employment opportunities: Gain experience with internships, start earning with entry positions, or upgrade your career with the next big job. Career advice: Advance your career with expert advice and professional resources, and stay up-to-date on the latest news. Education and training: Expand your employment prospects by upgrading your knowledge, skills, and competencies through courses. For employers it provides: Free access to upload jobs and find the best talent. Smart matching between jobs and candidates. Diversity promoting candidate suggestions reaching a wide pool of talent. The platform's primary objective is to promote lifelong learning and employment and simultaneously bridge the skills gap in Papua New Guinea by providing accessible training opportunities to all its citizens. WanPNG believes that by investing in the development of its people, Papua New Guinea can unlock its full potential and become a more prosperous nation. WanPNG is now available for job seekers and employers. Visit the website now at www.wanpng.com to learn more.
PNG Business News - March 27, 2023
St John Ambulance First Aid Training for Workplace
The St John ambulance service responded to over 21,000 emergencies across Papua New Guinea in 2022. In addition to being Papua New Guinea’s main emergency ambulance service, St John is the nation’s leading first aid training provider equipping thousands of workers with essential first aid skills and knowledge. With just one day of training, St John’s expert first aid trainers can equip your workers with the basic skills to handle all kinds of first aid emergencies. Workplace accidents and injuries are a common occurrence and it is essential for employers to have a competent workforce that can respond effectively to emergencies. St John’s workplace first aid courses ensure your workforce is equipped with the first aid training to assist a sick or injured person. It also helps organizations comply with legal requirements, reduce workplace injuries and fatalities and promote a culture of safety and preparedness. The Papua New Guinea St John Ambulance provides training routinely in Port Moresby and Lae, and can facilitate training at any location in PNG, which makes it easy for workers to gain or maintain their first aid qualifications. St John’s first aid trainers come from a variety of backgrounds, enabling them to contribute real-life experiences to the training environment. Each course, based on St John Ambulance Australia’s training resources, goesthrough rigorous appraisal by training and health specialists including St John’s Papua New Guinea’s medical expert advisory panel - made up of some of the industry’s leading physicians and health professionals, who ultimately endorse the clinical training content components of the first aid courses. St John CEO Matt Cannon said, “this rigorous appraisal process gives clients the confidence of St John’s commitment to delivering the highest quality in training content and delivery in Papua New Guinea.” Workplace first aid courses cover a broad range of topics, including basic life support, wound care, bandaging, splinting, CPR and using an AED. Participants learn how to identify and manage different medical emergencies such as heart attacks, strokes, burns, fractures, and poisoning. Each training program is designed to be flexible and can be delivered on-site or at one of our training centres. If you want to ensure that your workplace is prepared to respond to emergencies, contact St John today to learn more about our workplace first aid training.