Coffee Industry Corporation proposes new 10-year plan to arrest industry decline

Papua New Guinea’s Coffee Industry Corporation is working on a new 10-year strategy. Steven Tumae, General Manager of Industry and Operations at the CIC tells Business Advantage PNG that it is necessary to address problems in what is a struggling industry.

The Coffee Industry Corporation’s Steven Tumae. Source: CIC

The Corporation’s 10-year plan aims to address six key problem areas, including production levels, quality of coffee, product marketing systems, infrastructure, and the legal and policy environment, Tumae says.

‘The Corporation is aligning the new plan with the National Strategic Plan 2050 and the National Development Strategic Plan 2030, which will be critical to its success.

‘While the strategy will follow on from the Corporation’s previous 10-year plan ending this year, we hope to produce an updated plan that is measurable, relevant and holds stakeholders accountable,’ he says.

Stakeholders

Tumae says with many stakeholders to consider—exporters, processors, transport companies, industry organisations—it’s likely work on the plan will continue into 2019.

The sector’s inability to deliver on the previous plan is a concern that the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) is planning to address in upcoming workshops.

‘We must address why the previous plan wasn’t effectively implemented.

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‘The CIC’s strategy will aim to help farmers work together.’

‘To do this, it’s important all stakeholders play a role in the development of the new strategy,’ he says.

Providing a staff structure that supports the delivery of the plan is also important, as well as ensuring the plan is in line with the PNG Government’s global and local policy goals, he adds.

Coffee trees

Cooperative groups

Tumae believes that encouraging cooperative groups, including micro SMEs, will be a ‘game changer’ for the sector.

The CIC’s strategy will aim to help farmers work together to develop their farms into sustainable and profitable businesses.

‘Farmers lack the business acumen, financial knowhow, and the knowledge of how to make the most profit in the long term from their coffee trees, he says.

‘There are plenty of small businesses that can be developed … if the farmers work together as micro SMES. The shared profit would be substantial.’

‘The CIC plans to enable smallholders to become business-orientated farmers with direct access to the market.’

Potential small businesses include nurseries, processing the coffee as green beans, and selling quality coffee beans direct to local cafes and venues.

Regressing

Tumae says the coffee industry is regressing and, with the plantation sector declining, smallholders have been carrying the industry.

As a result, the CIC plans to enable smallholders to become business-orientated farmers with direct access to the market.

Tumae adds that, since the early 2000s, the government’s focus has shifted to investing heavily in the resources sector, which has led to a decline in funding for the coffee industry.

‘We’ve since seen a decline in training programs and a deterioration of infrastructure.

‘With farmers in cooperatives, we can accommodate group training and develop centralised processing plants, which will help maintain consistent quality of coffee beans.’

Another potential advantage is the support provided by farmers to other farmers within a cooperative group, says Tumae.

‘With each farming region having its own unique set of challenges, the plan can’t be a “one-size fits-all approach”.’

‘Engaging with a broad range of stakeholders across all regions will be fundamental to the success of the strategy.

‘In addition, building partnerships with government and businesses is the best way forward to resolving infrastructure issues and ensure the industry is sustainable.

‘We are working to develop these partnerships and [will] consult with key stakeholders who will support implementation of the plan.

‘We need all stakeholders to take ownership of the strategy and to lead change in the sector.’

Comments

  1. Margareth Parua says:

    I come from the coffee growing District of Dei in the Western Highlands Province and have recently started growing myself. I have noticed there is absolutely no input/assistance provided by CIC in any form to the growers in the District. Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe we are the biggest coffee growing District in the country. I have been turned away from CIC Hagen office on various occasions because there was no one available to assist in basic areas like extension work. They did not even have coffee seedlings to assist growers with. The little they had, I had to purchase. That led me to ask “what is the role of CICif they cannot assist farmers at the basic level”? Please can someone within the hierarchy reach out to me so I can be the bridge to assisting my people?

  2. AW Thomas says:

    Can we get in touch with Mr S.Tumae, (GM – Industry and Operations) at CIC regarding this article ? This is a very informative article which we find is of great interest to us for our new initiative which aligns with this 10 year Strategy Outline. We would like to get in touch with either Mr Tumae himself or any one else at CIC about this and if at all possible send us their contact details or send them ours for their exclusive use for this purpose. Thankyou. AWThomas

  3. This article is of direct interest to us. We would be very keen to speak to industry experts at CIC if at all possible. Thankyou. AW Thomas

  4. Pento Ando says:

    I am a potential new player in the industry and I totally agree with GM’s plan. Let us work together to achieve those brilliant strategies and of course conducting regular workshops would pretty much check on whether the plans have been achieved or not.

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