23 Oct 2008

Business leader says PNG's coffee industry needs much more help than the Government is offering

8:07 pm on 23 October 2008

Papua New Guinea's Chamber of Commerce says Government money to prune old coffee trees won't go far.

The Coffee Industry Corporation has received 1.5 million US dollars from the government for the pruning as well as for planting new trees in the Highlands region, to increase the output.

But the chamber's president, John Lei, says that money won't last long.

"That can only be a priming exercise in a sense, I mean that's quite a small amount of money in the scheme of things in that size, it wouldn't provide pruning and plantation cleaning services to the industry. It would simply be an amount that would have to be targeted. It's a massive industry. It's not going to go far."

John Lei says the industry also needs better roads to transport the coffee to the port in Lae, while growers also need more skills and technical support.