The re-elected Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, James Marape, has named his cabinet members. Among them is the former vice minister for commerce and industry, Joe Kuli, who is believed to be the world’s first minister for coffee.

Kuli hails from Anglimp-South Waghi in the Central Highlands Region. As he takes on the coffee sector, Francis Maneke, another member of the parliament since 2017, will be in charge of the palm oil sector and is also reportedly the world’s first-ever minister for palm oil. These new appointments emphasise the country’s resolve to improve its agriculture sectors.

Traditional Papua New Guinea crops have lost focus over the last 30, 40 years. We want to bring them back to the table. We are breaking them down to specific ministers so that these programs get managed by a minister properly at the micro level.

James Marape, Prime Minister, Papua New Guinea

Although Palm oil is Papua New Guinea’s main agricultural product, accounting for “27% of all agriculture exports and 6% of the country’s GDP”, coffee is the country’s second biggest agricultural export; it supports many other industries, from transport to construction and insurance to banking. In recent years, the country’s coffee industry has faced some difficulties, but the re-elected prime minister hopes the coffee minister, who comes from the Wahgi Valley region known for its coffee, will help improve it.

Papuan coffee has a high-interest factor among coffee connoisseurs and is served in many cafés all over the world. Prime Minister Marape wants to capitalise on this and produce and export more coffee.

Minister Kuli’s focus will be coffee, coffee, and coffee. I want to drink coffee made in Goroka, Mt Hagen, Lae and other parts of the country. I want to see more coffee grown for export to the lucrative markets of the world.

James Marape, Prime Minister, Papua New Guinea

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