Increased Production, Export for Central Coffee

By: Miriam Mandibi March 15, 2024

Exciting times are ahead for the coffee industry in Central Province with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) and the Central Provincial Government on the 6th of March, 2024 .

Under the agreement, a new coffee mill will be built in the Central Province within the next four years, which will allow for the processing of parchment coffee to green been (hulling) to take place in Central before the beans are exported to places like Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where robusta and arabica coffee from Central both have an existing market.

Acting Provincial Administrator Edward Kila welcomed the team from CIC and spoke on the long overdue signing of the agreement.

“The good Madam Governor (Rufina Peter) has challenged us administratively to lead this MoA signing, as she is I am little disappointed that this MoA has been deferred on two occasions, clearly indicating the drive by Madam Governor who wants to commence the implementation of the MoA, given the amount of work that needs to be done to develop the coffee industry in Central Province and its potential impact on the household incomes of coffee farmers and the local economy," said Mr. Kila.

The importance of CIC working with the Central Province was expressed by Steven Tumae, its Chief Operating Officer. 

“We used to have a coffee mill here at 14-Mile past the old Hugo Cannery, since then it has become nonexistent," he said.

"The reason why CIC is very interested to work with the Central Provincial Government is because the PNG Government under the MTDP (Medium Term Development Plans) 3 & 4 development plans has given CIC targets to achieve and in the Highlands, people are saturated as there is no big land to plant coffee."

"But in non-traditional coffee-growing areas like Enga, Southern Highlands Province, Hela, Central, AROB, Gulf, Northern, and Milne Bay, these are the areas CIC will fulfill the production and export targets from, so because of the Central Provincial Government's interest in coffee, we are pushing Central to be prioritized before the other provinces," stated Mr. Tumae.

Mr. Tumae also revealed that as part of CIC’s drive to push coffee for the Central Province, an extension officer will be added to the existing extension officer on ground for Central, and another such officer will be added for Gulf.

CIC’s Corporate Service Manager, Smith Baba, spoke of the CIC’s strategic plans and what they hope to achieve.

“In our CIC strategic business plan, by the year 2030 we should export 3 million green bean bags and fetch 1 billion kina in foreign currencies. To achieve this, CIC cannot stand alone, we need strategic partners, we need strategic partnerships and we are happy that with this MoA Central is coming on board," he said. 

"Now to achieve this 3 million green bean bags for PNG, from calculations we need about 400 million coffee trees to achieve that, and currently we have about 17 coffee-producing provinces, Central province is within that 17, so we if divide 400 million coffee trees to the 17 coffee producing provinces, each province should have about 23,529,412 coffee trees so that we can achieve that 3 million green bean bags."

"But then, CIC needs to know how many coffee trees are existing, and the balance of coffee trees required,” Mr. Baba said.

According to Baba, CIC records show that Central province has 4 million coffee trees, with the potential production of 32,000 green bean bags annually and to export 100 containers shipped annually.

“So the current potential economic value for coffee in the Central province is K19.2 million annually injected into the local economy just from coffee alone. The province now, with our extension work going on the ground, we can reach up to K30 million if we aggressively work on the structure of the MoA going forward, so we are talking serious business here,” Baba stated.

Under the agreement, a local certification and inspection export office built in the Central Province will allow for export processors licenses. This will break the cycle of coffee being sent to Lae for hulling.

Discussions are also taking place for coffee to go into the Japanese market, which signals exciting times for Central Province and the Southern region.

The Governor for Central Province and the Minister for Coffee will sign as witnesses to the MoA at a later date, when CIC organizes 5 to 7 coffee-growing provinces coming together to sign MOAs with CIC Management and the Coffee Minister.

Related Articles

Recent Articles

See Our Latest Issue

See Our Latest Issue

See Our Latest Issue

See Our Latest Issue