In reinforcing the government’s commitment to expand key agriculture industries
Papua New Guinea’s has appointed a minister for coffee; The Papua New Guinean prime minister has announced his cabinet, which contains not only some new faces, but some new positions as well, including a minister for coffee.
The post – believed to be a world first – shows the government’s commitment to expanding key agriculture industries, said the prime minister James Marape, who won re-election earlier this month after an election plagued by violence and allegations of voter fraud. For the first time Marape also named a minister for palm oil.
“The appointments specifically spotlight agriculture in a very significant way, to see agriculture growth in the country,” he said on Tuesday when announcing the new 33-member cabinet.
The minister for coffee is a new MP, Joe Kuli, from Anglimp-South Waghi, in the central highlands region.
Marape said the coffee industry needed to be revived to bring in more export revenue. Kuli understood the challenge, he said, because he comes from the Wahgi Valley of Jiwaka, which was once a huge coffee plantation, but has been overgrown by bush.
Coffee production in the country is dominated by village-based small-scale farmers, who produce close to 85% of the country’s annual crop. It is a source of income for close to two million people – around one quarter of the population – according to the department of agriculture and livestock.
Coffee is the country’s second largest agricultural commodity after palm oil, accounting for 27% of all agriculture exports and 6% of the country’s GDP.
Is it a good move? what if countries assign for each important commodity they produce, a minister? 😉