1 Mar 2010

PNG coffee exporters hit hard by Highlands Highway closures

2:57 pm on 1 March 2010

Coffee exporters in Papua New Guinea are among those feeling the brunt of closures of the Highlands Highway due to recent heavy rain and landslides.

The Highway, which connects a number of major towns and is vital for the movement of people and goods between the Highlands and the coast, has had several closures in the past two weeks.

Three parts of the highway through Simbu Province were impassable until the weekend when Works Department crews cleared landslips off the road.

The General Manager of Goroka-based Coffee Connections Ltd, Henry Ame, says the closures have caused businesses like his to fail to meet contractual obligations.

"You know, we're losing money due to people demanding compensation before the road has been cleared and stuff like that. We cannot meet the shipment and that sort of thing that affects a business with our buyer overseas. Then we have to pay a penalty on that according to the arbitration rule in (the) coffee business."

Henry Ame