Coffee is the highest foreign exchange earner for Papua New Guinea, the majority of which is grown in the Eastern Highland Province, the Western Highland Province, and Simbu. The quality of coffee grown in Papua New Guinea is exceedingly high, often cupping in the specialty coffee range but due to several factors the quality is often compromised. Poor management and poor processes affect the quality of the produce..
- Size – 462,840 sq km
- Capital City – Port Moresby
- Main Port City – Port Moresby
- Population – 6,909,701
- Language/s Spoken – Tok Pisin (official), English (official), Hiri Motu (official), nearly 840 indigenous languages
Coffee production in Papua New Guinea
- Population Involved in Coffee – 280,000 smallholder farmers
- Typical Farm Size – 1–30 hectares
- Bags Exported Annually – 100,000 bags
Papua New Guinea Coffee Profile
- Growing Regions – Chivu, Eastern Highlands, Western Highlands
- Common Varieties – Arusha, Blue Mountain, Typica
- Processing Methods – Washed
- Country-Specific Grades – Grading here is a semi-complex system following not simply screen size, but also color, shape, defects, aroma, and cup quality. Grades include A, X, AX, PSC, Y1, and so on
- Bag Size – 60 kg
- Harvest Period – May–August
- Typical Arrival – October–November
History of Papua New Guinea Coffee
The anthropological history of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is fascinating, but this is a page about coffee, so: Germans and British colonized Papua New Guinea in the 19th century, with the Germans toward the north and Brits in the south, where they planted coffee in and around Port Moresby in order to sell it to the Australian market. In the 1920s, commercial coffee production was increased through the introduction of Typica coffee from Jamaica, a variety commonly known as Blue Mountain. As was common in most coffee-growing areas of the Pacific Islands, most of the coffee production was from a handful of large European- or Australian-owned estates, with labor coming from the local indigenous population.
Quality coffee Papua New Guinea
Coffee is the highest foreign exchange earner for Papua New Guinea, the majority of which is grown in the Eastern Highland Province, the Western Highland Province, and Simbu. With the industry not derived on a colonial plantation-based system, production is largely by small farmers with land holdings that grow as little as 20 trees per plot in “coffee gardens” alongside subsistence crops. Predominantly in isolated places, the product is mostly certified as Organic coffee. Quality of coffee produced in Papua New Guinea has received a boost in recent times with emphasis on setting up wet factories supported by adequate checks and assurances of excellence through a testing process in well equipped laboratories.
Grading Coffee Papua New Guinea
One of the unique characteristics of the coffee market in Papua New Guinea is the grading system used here, which measures not simply screen size as in other countries (like Kenya or Colombia), but also bean shape, color, cup quality, and presence of defect.
|Screen Size||> 17mm||mixed||mixed||> 15mm||mixed||mixed||mixed||mixed|
|Defect / kg||20||20||10||40||70||150||< 30% by weight||> 30% by weight|
|Shape||oval smooth||mixed smooth||mixed||mixed||mixed||mixed||mixed||mixed|
|Color||blue green||blue green||light green||light green||light green||light green||green-yellow||green-yellow|
|Aroma||clean||clean||clean||clean||some fruit||acceptable||no foreign odor||no foreign odor|
|Cup Quality||good||good to fine||good to fine||good, light, fruity||fine average quality||fine average quality||no foreign flavor||no foreign flavor|
Problem facing the coffee industry in Papua New Guinea
The threat perspectives to coffee industry in Papua New Guinea are manifold. These could be cited as; the poor quality of basic infrastructure such as rural roads; the aging trees (said to be in the age range of 27–47 years) without signs of timely replacements; and pests and diseases causing diseases such as Coffee Berry Disease (CBD), the spread of Berry Borer and Pink Disease necessitating prevention of its spread from Java to Papua New Guinea…
The poor quality of basic infrastructure
One of the most painful problems faced by the farmers producing coffee in Papua New Guinea is the poor quality of basic infrastructure such as rural roads. Many a time this leads to unsold coffee remaining in the farms, which they cannot consume and consequent loss of their very revenue or results in distress sale of their produce to even maintain subsistence level of their living. Other problem areas highlighted are the changing of the cropping pattern from coffee to more economical crops or food crops, limited family land holdings restraining further growth, labour shortages creating difficulties during the main crop picking season and the unavoidable movement of the youth from the villages to the urban areas in search of better job opportunities.
Added to these problems, the other significant anguish faced by the producers is the decline of coffee prices in the world market. Such a situation, when persists for long period, would call for subsidies to be provided by the government to the small land holders so that they can survive till the prices pickup.
and more problems..
Increased annual production by other competing countries in the world market is also affecting the contemporary industry in Papua New Guinea. In 2009, coffee was reported to be responsible for 18.5% of the country’s agricultural exports and just 4.7% of total export revenue, a dramatic fall since the 1990s. In recent years, coordination between the private and public sectors have increased as has a movement towards a greater sustainability with improved soil nutrition management and retention and education of farmers in prolonging the agricultural productivity of their land.