Thursday, February 6, 2014

ANOTHER NAWAEB COORPERATIVE TAKES AFTER NEKNASI



Neknasi coffee  farmer, Halimbi Gim

Another cooperative  in the Nawaeb District of the Morobe Province  is working to develop fresh food supply chain starting with farmers in  the Wain-Erap Local Level Government area.
Kasuka is following in the footsteps of Neknasi – a coffee cooperative that is  close to building its own coffee processing mill.
The villages who make up the Kasuka fresh food cooperative  are  tucked away in the mountains of the Wain Erap LLG.  Although this place can supply Lae with  a  relatively large amount of food to Lae and the rest of PNG,  road access and transportation have  always  been  a major obstacle to their success.
A team of volunteers led by Pandi Nogatu have  been working  on developing a  cooperative based fresh food supply chain.  It has been a long journey.
“Roads are the biggest obstacle,” Says Nogatu. “our food goes bad just because we wait for too long.”
The group experimented with rice, corn and other vegetables.   They’ve been slowly finding their way.  With increased government funding to the districts,    the Nawaeb administration has  been able to buy the cooperative a new vehicle. 
This will cut down on transport costs and the time it usually  takes  to get from  the  inner reaches of the Wain Erap area to Lae City.
            Nawaeb MP, Gisuat Siniwin whose village also has limited road access says the cooperatives will sell fruit and vegetables to big clients like mining companies.
            “We’ve advised the people to develop a corporative out of  what they already have.”
Kasuka  cooperative  is  learning from another example – the Neknasi Coffee cooperative  featured last year on EMTV’s Tok Piksa program.  
Working closely with Fairtrade International, Neknasi  will soon get certification as an organic coffee grower.  Michael Toliman who provides advice to  Neknasi   says cooperatives need  to be encouraged because  they  empower  Papua New Guineans.
“In order to sell large volumes,  you need a steady supply.  Cooperatives are very important.”
Neknasi and Kasuka will be building a coffee mill and a fresh food  depot in Erap.  Nekasi has  the aim of becoming a leader in coffee exports out of Morobe  and Kasuka aims to become  the leading fresh food depot in Morobe.

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