ONE OF THE NEWEST coffees in Papua New Guinea is Bauka Blue. It is produced entirely by a dedicated group of women from Aiyura in the Eastern Highlands.
It may not yet be in the same league as some better known coffees, but it’s steadily developing a loyal fan base among missionaries at neighbouring Summer Institute of Linguistics and in Kainantu and Goroka.
Bauka Blue Kofi comes from the green rolling hills of the Aiyura Valley, backdropped by beautiful blue 1,800 metre high mountains in the Obura-Wonenara district. Bauka means “black” in the local Tairora dialect.
“We started it in 2000 as a women’s coffee project, involving ladies around the area where we live at Aiyura,” says Marey Yogiyo.
“We realised that ladies spend a lot of time making and producing quality coffee, however, when everything was done, the men take the coffee to the markets and get all the money.
“We decided to do it ourselves. We help ladies. We pay school fees; attend to health problems. The ladies are happy to work together.”
After picking, processing and drying, women of the Bauka group take their coffee to Arabicas in Goroka for roasting.
“I want to show farmers that we can make and drink our own coffee,” Yogiyo says. “Why should we work so hard and give it to somebody else?”
Coffee production is the backbone of the rural economy in the Highlands and, across the nation, about one-third of PNG’s people depend on coffee production for cash.
Source: Islands Business