21 Apr 2009

PNG coffee growers told to start harvesting

10:24 am on 21 April 2009

Coffee growers throughout Papua New Guinea have been urged to start harvesting and selling their produce to take advantage of the current high prices.

The Post Courier reports Coffee Industry Corporation chief executive officer Ricky Mitio as saying that PNG growers could not afford to miss out on the current price of 1 US dollar 30 cents per kilogram of parchment coffee.

Mr Mitio says the favourable price and the dry weather is a good opportunity for growers to reap the benefits.

He is urging village growers, especially in the Highlands region to stop tribal fights and return to their coffee gardens to start harvesting and selling their produce.

Mr Mitio added the ban on roadside selling of coffee cherries was still in force but harvesting coffee would prevent perpetrators from stealing cherries to sell.

He said the theft and illegal sale of coffee cherries resulted in genuine farmers missing out on the benefits of their labour.

Mr Mitio also commended all coffee growers and stakeholders in the industry for last year's record export earnings of 173 million US dollars.