More than 560 farmers from the Eastern Highlands Province recently took part in training to sustainably grow coffee to meet certification requirements.
The training covered the best social and environmental practices for coffee farming to meet certification standards.
Having quality certified coffee gives added assurance to buyers – in turn resulting in more sales and premium prices for smallholder coffee growers.
The training was supported by the Papua New Guinea-Australia Partnership funded Market Development Facility (MDF) and delivered by PNG Coffee Export Limited and Care International.
The training also covered social standards as part of the ongoing assessment for certification requires farmers to meet social standards in their households and communities.
MDF PNG Country Director Matthew Kanua said the social aspects of the training help create stronger communities.
“Through the training, farmers are encouraged to shun antisocial activities and adopt social behaviours that create safer communities,” Mr Kanua said.
PNGCE extension coordinator Sharon Erick said she was pleased to see high level of participation from both men and women.
“I notice that there are more women farmers involved in the training. Not only are they attending the training, they are also participating and speaking up, which is good,” stated PNG Coffee Export Limited extension coordinator, Sharon Erick.
The farmers also received additional training on COVID-19 prevention measures including practising social distancing and good hygiene when farming and selling coffee.
The process will end in November, with an external auditor making the final assessment for farmers to be certified.
Certified farmers will have the opportunity to supply quality coffee to PNG Coffee Export Limited.
MDF is a multi-country initiative funded by the Australian Government. In PNG, MDF focuses on supporting farmers and workers, including women, thrive in the agriculture sector.
Feature Pic: Lake Pesty, a female coffee farmer from Sakanuga village who took part in the training.