COFFEE, NEW CASH CROP FOR EAST NEW BRITAIN

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (January 12, 2000 – Post-Courier)---Coffee will soon become the third cash crop of agriculture-based East New Britain Province.

The East New Britain Provincial Government and the Coffee Industry Corporation are soon to sign an agreement to start the multi-million-kina project.

The coffee project is expected to kick off this year as soon as the agreement is signed.

The Department of Primary Industry, which is the main driving force behind this project, has been responsible for preparing the agreement.

In anticipation of the project, the government of Governor Francis Koimanrea has allocated more than K 4 million (US$ 1.447 million) to the DPI division for the project.

DPI officers said recently that coffee would grow well in the province.

They said CIC officers had confirmed from a survey they had carried out that the province was suitable for coffee development.

They said if successful, coffee would bring in much needed revenue to the province and the country as a whole.

They said when introduced the DPI division would flood the Bainings area with coffee plots, and as far away as the mountains of Matanakunai, bordering East and West New Britain provinces, depending on the wishes of local landowners.

East New Britain already has cocoa and copra as its main cash crops.

The officers said, "These are produced mainly by small holder farmers."

It is anticipated that the small holder farmers will catch on to coffee like they did to vanilla two years ago.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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