By GENO NAU-BUGA
ANOTHER politician has challenged the Coffee Industry to reorganize its priorities so it can break out of its low production and export more bags to pump in at least a billion kina into the national budget.
Acting Agriculture Minister Andrew Kumbakor says the coffee industry has been producing about a million bags taking in K400 million kina for far too long.
He urged the new Chief Executive Officer of the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC), Navi Anis to start turning the governance and management around and boosting grower support and production to a new level.
Mr Kumbakor said the governemnt expects so much from coffee and growers have made their expectations known more than adequately. He wants the caretaker board led by the Agriculture secretary to close the gaps, fix the missing links and take a proactive stand to produce the answers.
The acting Agriculture minister pointed out that a new CEO, an experienced coffee manager, must be the turning point.
He said he was ready to bring in more support for small growers on condition the board of directors and management guide the industry to show some good results in production volume, and export earnings.
Mr Kumbakor also thanked the former CIC CEO and popular coffee-man, Ricky Mitio who was at the helm of the industry for over 32 years.