It seemed so good, but too much negativity took its toll
To love a brother

The bean dependency

Coffee tree (Emmanuel Landu)EMMANUEL LANDU

An entry in the Crocodile Prize
SP Brewery Award for Illustration

THIS image portrays the livelihood of my people of the Eastern Highlands Province. It is the most dominant cash crop in some of the poorest and most remote areas of Papua New Guinea.

Coffee has always been there for them. This crop has been a symbol and source of wealth, strength and identity.

In this illustration I have captured all levels of people - men, women and children - as being dependent on the coffee tree.

It is their major source of income for bride price, compensation and basic needs such as food and school fees.

I believe the coffee bean is the essence of every small holder farmer.

There is, as I envision here, a resilient relationship between the small holder farmer and the bean, with an understanding that “if you take care of me, I take care of you”.

A connection between crop and farmer. This is the core of my people. I see real value in this coffee crop and what it has given to my people to have a better life, a brighter future, wealth and a sense of dignity.

In this image, I try to draw attention to the concept of “bean dependency” to illustrate its utmost importance in our society today.

It is not only important for the people of the Eastern Highlands Province, but also for Papua New Guinea as a whole.

The hanging people in this illustration signify all people at a national level because coffee involves about one=third of the population in its production, processing and sale.

Comments

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Barbara Short

Excellent drawing, Emmanuel.

But this dependency worries me. Over in the Sepik the people of Yangoru relied on the money from the cocoa, but they got hit by the cocoa pod borer.

I think the Department of Agriculture must try to get more diversity of cash crops everywhere in PNG. Just imagine if something started attacking the coffee plants.

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