Poor facilities affecting production – The National

A study by the National Research Institute shows that providing facilities and processing quality coffee were challenges faced by coffee producing countries. By tackling these issues, PNG can be a major coffee producing country.
A coffee farmer in her coffee garden.

Providing facilities that promote the production and processing of high quality coffee has been a challenge for the governments of some coffee producing countries.
A study by the PNG National Research Institute (NRI), Strategies for Improving Coffee Production and Processing in Papua New Guinea: Lessons Learned from the Top Five Coffee Producing Countries, highlighted coffee production and processing in the country and suggested strategies for improvement by drawing lessons from the top five coffee producing countries in the world.
The study covered six coffee producing countries on four continents: Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea.
Below is the summary of the study.

In Papua New Guinea (PNG), coffee is the second agricultural product after palm oil.
Coffee production offered employment opportunities and foreign exchange earnings.
Coffee contributed 27 percent of total agricultural exports from 2012 to 2017 and accounted for 6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) during the same period.
He has contributed to multiple sectors of PNG’s economy, including transportation; construction; manufacturing; retail and wholesale; Assurance; and banking.
Arabica is a frequently cultivated species of coffee in PNG, primarily at elevations between 700 and 2,050 meters above sea level in the Highlands.
Robusta is grown in areas up to 550 m above sea level in the coastal areas of PNG.
PNG provides high quality Arabica coffee with a refined taste that is appreciated by coffee consumers.
However, coffee production in PNG appears to have declined.
According to an AECOM (2018) report on the PNG coffee market study, exports fell to 934 60 kg bags between 1998 and 2018.
The price of coffee had also fallen over time in the international market.
The implication is that, as both components of coffee income (production and price) for producers decline, incomes would decline over time and have serious consequences for producers and the PNG economy that depends on it. .

The coffee beans produced range from 81,000 tonnes in 1998 to 58,000 tonnes in 2018, which corresponds to a decrease of 28%.

Study results
In the case of PNG, the area of ​​coffee fields harvested annually ranges from as little as 41,000 hectares in 2002 to a maximum of 87,000 hectares in 1999.
The area of ​​harvested coffee fields in PNG fell from 81,000 hectares in 1998 to 54,000 hectares in 2018, a decrease of 33%.
Compared to the smallest coffee plantation area among the top five countries, the largest harvested area in PNG (87,000 hectares) is 71% less than the smallest harvested area (220,000 hectares) among these countries.
The coffee beans produced range from 81,000 tonnes in 1998 to 58,000 tonnes in 2018, which corresponds to a decrease of 28%.
It is important to note that there was no data for 2008.
PNG’s annual coffee production is lower than that of the top five coffee-producing countries during the period of our study.
Among the top five coffee producing countries, Vietnam had the highest amount of coffee harvested per hectare.
It increased from 1,875 kg / ha in 1998 to 2,612 in 2018, an increase of 39%.
Brazil harvested 816 kg / ha in 1998 and 1,906 kg / ha in 2018, which corresponds to an increase of 134%.
Results of the literature review on the main challenges of coffee production and processing in PNG
The challenges of coffee production and processing in PNG are:

  • INSUFFICIENT Access to Basic Infrastructure and Facilities – Smallholder farmers, especially those residing in remote areas, find it difficult to access coffee grinding and storage facilities.
    There were no good road networks to transport inputs and agricultural products to and from their coffee plantations;
  • AGRICULTURAL management practices – Most coffee trees tend to be past their economic production age, which has resulted in reduced crop yields.
    Necessary coffee growing practices, such as regular pruning and provision of shade trees, are either delayed or not carried out by producers;
  • DECREASING YIELD and uneven product quality – The quality of coffee produced in PNG tends to decline;
  • INSUFFICIENT Extension Services – Coffee producers, especially smallholders, need information on modern coffee production techniques.
    However, it is often difficult for them to access the services of extension agents;
  • TECHNOLOGY – Modern technology can help coffee producers improve their productivity and make coffee production more attractive.
    However, coffee farmers in PNG often lack modern technology, which limits their ability to realize their full potential in the coffee sector;
  • CHANGE in cultivation pattern – Some coffee farmers are converting all or part of their coffee fields to other more economical crops due to a drop in the price of coffee in the market or problems related to access to coffee facilities. coffee processing.
    Switching to other crops may also be due to labor shortages for necessary agricultural operations such as pruning coffee trees and picking coffee beans;
  • PESTS and diseases – Pests and diseases such as the coffee berry bark beetle, coffee leaf rust, green coffee mealybug and pink disease (DAL, 2020) are other issues that militate against the production of Coffee ;
  • UNFAVORABLE Market Prices – The price small producers receive for their coffee is often lower than the premium price that exporters receive.
    This often discourages smallholders from paying much attention to necessary farming practices, which has an impact on coffee productivity;
  • ACCESS to finance – Some coffee producers want to expand their coffee plantation or buy coffee processing equipment. However, it is often difficult for them to access loans from commercial banks;
  • ACCESS to land for commercial coffee production – For coffee production to be profitable, especially in terms of economies of scale, a large area of ​​land is required.
    However, it is often difficult to access large tracts of land with appropriate titles.
    Indeed, the lands belonging to the State associated with proper titles are almost exhausted.
    Communal land, which accounts for almost 97 percent of total land in PNG, is not properly titled; and,
  • SECURITY Issues – Theft of coffee products, especially in rural areas, is often a major concern for farmers and increases production costs and losses.

The results of this study showed that PNG has the potential to become one of the world’s leading coffee producing countries.
The climatic and environmental conditions of the country are favorable for the cultivation of various species of coffee, giving it an advantage over some of the major coffee producing countries.
This could be the reason why PNG, on average, had a higher coffee yield per hectare than the top five coffee producing countries except Vietnam, as our analysis revealed.
However, the area of ​​harvested coffee fields and the amount of coffee produced by PNG continued to be smaller than the top five coffee producing countries we examined in this study.
The PPAP, implemented by the government in collaboration with the World Bank, has the potential to increase PNG’s coffee production and make the country more competitive in the coffee market.
However, only some coffee producers benefit from PPAP, which can make it difficult to increase the desired coffee production.
For the PPAP to contribute more meaningfully to the coffee sector, more effective and efficient mechanisms are needed to monitor and evaluate the PPAP.
The project should focus more on the replanting of coffee trees and the rehabilitation of coffee plantations.
All coffee producers should have access (eg – all inclusive program) to benefit from PPAP so that total coffee production can improve in PNG.

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