PPP Coffee Papua New Guinea Arufa
Country/Region: Papua New Guinea / Jiwaka Province
Varietal: Typica, Bourbon
Elevation: 1653 m.a.s.l.
We Taste: Berries, Pineapple, Black Grape
This lot from Jiwaka Province consists entirely of smallholder farms, with high altitudes and fertile lands providing the optimum setting to grow coffee, alongside the unique microclimate in the Arufa region.
Since coffee was first introduced to Papua New Guinea in the 19th century, the industry has grown to export about 1 million bags of coffee yearly, employing over 2.5 million people - nearly half the total population. For the Arufa communities, roads are relatively accessible, provide ease of transport to the mill.
Coffee is grown by smallholder farmers averaging 2 hectares each, inter-cropped with other crops such as plantain, bananas, yam, sweet potato and cabbage. However, coffee remains the primary source of income, and most other crops and livestock are reared for personal consumption.
Production is mostly organic due to the expensive nature of fertilisers. Since 2013, Monpi Sustainable Management Service (SMS) has been assisting with organic certification for farmers, with over 900 certified smallholder farmers thus far. Several SMS-led initiatives helped these farms achieve better efficiency, such as regular slashing of weeds, which are then decomposed into fertiliser. Coffee cherry pulp from the wet mill are also distributed back to farmers to use as fertiliser.
During harvest in the September to November period, coffee cherries are handpicked, selecting only 'full maroon cherries'. The coffee is then assessed and hand sorted to remove any under/overripe cherries, and then dried on raised beds. Here, the coffee is stirred regularly for even drying.
The drying beds are cared for by the women in the producer families, who continue to handset the cherries as they dry for about a month, depending on the climate. Upon reaching about 12 % moisture, the coffee is collected and moved to the dry mill to be graded and milled for export.