Farm: Korona Smallholder
Varietal: Typica, Arusa, Bourbon
Processing: Natural Wet Processing
Altitude: 1750 to 1900 metres
Owner: Various Smallholder farms
Town / City: Henganofi District
Region: Eastern Highlands (Henganofi)
12 April 2015
Overall: Chocolate; Plum; Satsuma;
Moanti - Papua New Guinea
The Moanti Network is a small but quickly-growing coffee-farming network comprised of approximately 269 farmers who, together, produce around 123 metric tonnes of green coffee per year.
Formed in early October 2011, the network’s name derives from its founder, Mrs. Moanti Ise, a local farmer from the Dunatina Valley area of the Eastern Highlands. Mrs. Moanti started her collaboration with Monpi Coffee Exports (who exports this coffee) and Sustainable Management Services (SMS) (a farmer training program) after ensuring the delivery of consistently high quality green coffee to Monpi.
The farmers of this network belong to the Kiviringka community, which incorporates 12 different clans. The network area stretches 11 kilometres (less than 2 kilometres wide) along the Dunatina Valley, in the Henganofi District of the Eastern Highlands Province. The valley lies in the heart of the highlands where grassy vegetation meets cool mountain forests and overlooks the Ramu Valley below. The area is accessible by road, less than 2 hours’ drive from Goroka.
There are some 16,000 farming households in the district, which is made up of 14 villages. Most of these households grow coffee as a primary means of income. The well-kept villages have 3 churches, 10 elementary schools, 5 primary schools and 3 aid posts, in total.
Lying at 1,750 to 1,900 meters with an average annual rainfall of 1,800 to 2,900 mm, the region is well-suited to high quality coffee production. Coffee is farmed almost entirely in ‘coffee gardens’, with the coffee plants benefiting from the shade of surrounding trees and the rich, loamy soil of the forest floor. Most of the coffee gardens of the Moanti Network’s farmers are situated on the hills overlooking tributaries to the Hagoimbi River (Dotiwara). However, many farmers also have secondary plantations that are located on the other side of the mountain ridge, which can be as far as a 3 to 4 hours walk uphill and across ridges into the forests. The most common varieties of coffee produced are Typica and Arusaha, with only a few farms producing Mundonovo and Bourbon.
Coffee in the region is harvested by hand. After being picked, the coffee cherries are poured onto a canvas, where foreign substances (sticks, stones, soil, etc) and imperfect cherries are removed. Only perfectly ripe cherries will remain after the sorting process and will go on to be processed.
Coffee is then processed using the wet, or washed, method. Coffee cherries are pulped using pulping machines and are then fermented for around 36 hours (depending on climatic conditions at the time). After fermentation, the coffee is fully washed and then soaked in fresh, clean water for 16 hours (overnight). After being soaked, the resulting ‘parchment’ coffee is dried on raised beds.
Among the Moanti Network’s 269 farmers, the vast majority are able to farm organically (only 8 % use any form of herbicide or fungicide). Farmers have also greatly benefited from Monpi’s farmer development and training services. The Sustainable Management Services (SMS) program - developed with the support of Monpi Exporters, ECOM and the World Bank - focuses on helping farmers to improve their production and to farm more sustainably, thus maintaining coffee for future generations. Participation in the program has improved access to new coffee markets, has resulted in more profitable family businesses, and has vastly improved access to technical information. The program has sparked a new way of thinking about coffee farming in the region.