The leading coffee cultivators in East New Britain Province are poised to have their own processing facility soon.
The coffee farmers in Pomio, responsible for the highest yield of coffee, have been compelled to market their produce to the mainland due to the factory closure at Kabakaul in Kokopo after the demise of its manager several years ago.
Recognizing the necessity to make the market more accessible to the locals, the Pomio District Development Authority, backed by its board, resolved to establish a coffee processing facility in the district’s main base at Palmalmal.
Elias Kapavore, Pomio’s MP and Chairman of the Pomio DDA Board, validated that a recent visit was made to Banz in Jiwaka Province to liaise with the factory’s owner, which was reportedly built but never implemented.
Kapavore confirmed that a payment had been processed to a shipping firm to transport eight containers, housing the factory materials from Lae to Palmalmal in the upcoming weeks.
The same chartered vessel is slated to carry over materials necessary to construct district bridges.
“In the past, farmers in Pakia, Mile, and Aona wards of Inland Pomio LLG produced tons of coffee delivered to the factory at Kabakaul. However, complications with the factory created a void that had to be filled. At this point, the Pomio DDA decided to establish our factory,” Kapavore explained.
Kapavore mentioned that following the journey to Banz two months prior, the Pomio DDA involved a coffee manager from Kikiba Plantation to aid in locating a secondhand factory.
As they anticipate the arrival of MV Pomio, which is currently undergoing maintenance, a barge has been commissioned to ferry coffee bags to Lae to prospective buyers. This arrangement has been made in cooperation with the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC), along with other private agreements.
Kapavore stated, “While we wait for the coffee factory, we use the established arrangements and allow farmers to cultivate and market their produce, ensuring that the interest in coffee farming is preserved. This is crucial because once the factory is operational, there will be a demand to meet the supply requirements of the facility.”
The Pomio MP emphasized that his DDA eagerly looks forward to seeing Pomio coffee on the market, a vision he believes will materialize soon.
The factory building materials, purchased at a price exceeding K700,000, were acquired from a businessperson in Banz.
Kapavore stated that since ENB can produce coffee, a factory is essential. “We are coordinating closely with CIC as they hold the authority to issue permits and licenses. They will ensure that we comply with all necessary procedures to construct this factory so that everything proceeds systematically,” he added.