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It is generally accepted

that coffee was first introduced into the Pacific area in the late 18th Century by Dutch Sailors. However the first known extensive planting was established in Sogeri in 1898. By 1908 up to 70 Ha had been planted and export revenue totalled US$915.00 The Lutheran Missionaries were considered the first to introduce coffee seedlings into the Highlands of New Guinea in the pre war years.

The first plantations were established in Goroka just after the war by an Australian explorer James Leahy. We must also mention that the Highlands of New Guinea were only discovered by Europeans in the 1930's.

The Australian administration encouraged the villages and small holders to adopt coffee as a cash crop during the 1950's and 1960's.

Today coffee is the major cash crop in the Highland provinces of Papua New Guinea, with over 300,000 smallholder growers accounting for 85% of the 65,000 tons of coffee that PNG produces annually.

Each household or grower group has an average of less than 1,500 coffee trees and PNG can boast that these farmers on average receive more than 70% of the FOB price for their coffee. With very few exceptions smallholder coffee is grown under shade, thereby reducing the dependence on fertilisers or other physical inputs.