Beetle threat to PNG coffee grows while govt stalls

5:16 pm on 14 September 2017

Papua New Guinea's coffee industry is being increasingly threatened by an invasive beetle while the government stalls on promised emergency funding.

Agriculture officals say they are doing their best to contain the coffee berry borer beetle using checkpoints, destroying infected trees and fumigation but the problem is getting worse and now covers over 100 hectares of crops.

The Coffee Berry Borer is a pest

The Coffee Berry Borer is a pest Photo: supplied

A senior entomologist at the National Quarantine and Inspection Authority, David Tenakanai, said the agency had some help from the World Bank and the Australian government to monitor the beetle's spread but the new government needed to come up with the 20 million kina [$US6 million ] it pledged several months ago.

"So we also are thinking that after the hundred days then coffee has the twenty million, or not exactly the twenty million but any amount of money given by the government can be very helpful," Mr Tenakanai said.

He said the coffee industry brought in $US153 million annually, supporting three million people living in the Highlands and if the government funding did not come through then up to 80 percent of the coffee crops could be damaged.