Coffee is one of the cash crops selected and to signify this, a first in the world Coffee Ministry was created.
The Southern Highlands Provincial Government has allocated K20m to build a coffee factory in Mendi.
Governor William Powi announced this during the Provincial Assembly meeting last Thursday.
In support of the initiative, the Nipa Kutubu District under the leadership of Dr Billy Joseph has embarked on growing coffee in the district.
Dr Billy urged all the people in the district to start growing coffee and earn a living.
“We at Nipa Kutubu DDA will focus on coffee to grow our economy,” he said.
“I ask everyone with land to partner with us and we plant coffee as the market is now at our doorstep and the price is stabilised at K7/Kg. Money is in the ground.
“Connect Nipa Kutubu and Coffee Rebab will now give lifeline to our Nipa Kutubu people who are known for asking for free handouts,” he said.
Dr Billy said Nipa Kutubu DDA is now building coffee nurseries in the district.
“The first is at Kongu, which Junior Ipiso who is from Hepinja and Kongu with a Masters Degree from University of Queensland, Australia in Environment Management and a degree in Tropical Agriculture from the University of Natural Resources and Environment in East New Britain, will oversee this in partnership with the NK DDA.
“It’s time to take back Nipa Kutubu from cargo cult and free handouts.”
Dr Billy further clarified that Kongu coffee nursery land clearing is in progress.
“About 100 men have been tasked to do the estimated four-hectare land clearing on Saturday. The clearing should be completed by Monday.
“Other activities such as taking and herbicide spraying will follow.”
Dr Billy also met with ward members of Kombla and Korop on Saturday to select a site at Norma and do the land clearing to grow coffee as well.