By GENO NAU BUGA
ORGANIC coffee from remote villages situated between Aiyura and Okapa in Eastern Highlands province will soon be making its way to central markets for sale following the upgrading and maintenance of the Aiyura-Aviana road.
Member for Okapa, Bonny Oveyara has committed K2-million for the re-opening of the road from Aiyura through to Aviana and eventually to Okapa station.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the work to commence will be conducted on Tuesday, January 12 at Obura-Wonenara district station at Aiyura.
The MP clarified that in the colonial era there used to be a road linking Aiyura to Okapa that served rural villagers. During those times the local people traded amongst themselves and the patrol officers and other government services reach the people to conduct their activities.
Moreover, the fertile valleys and hills situated between Aiyura and Okapa are known for producing some of PNG's good quality coffee, most of which are organically grown. However, over the years, the problem facing farmers in these areas is transportation of the produce to the markets.
Mr Oveyara stated that the re-opening of the road and maintenance would be carried out in order to assist the rural farmers transport their coffee as well as have access to other government services and movement to town to do business.
The MP also revealed that the National Development Bank would be assisting to establish a coffee factory at Okapa station to assist farmers process their coffee right in the district.
He said the establishment of the factory by NDB would be at a tune of K2-million.
NDB's presence in the area is significant as last year it has allocated funds to the Okapa district for the micro credit facility, especially for rural farmers.