He said the country was rich in resources especially in commodities and there were opportunities in basic commodities such as coffee that were available to improve their marketability. “In the United States, people who are real entrepreneurs, will look at something like the coffee sector to add value in the value chain,” North said.
“What’s happening is they are taking a basic commodity and are adding value to it to a reach a desired product.
“And that’s one area where Papua New Guinea actually has real potential to participate in because you have fantastic climate conditions here, higher altitude specialised coffee which is organic.
“If it is appropriately grown, certified and the supply chain is managed effectively, Papua New Guinea would have got a lot more for its coffee.
“Unfortunately for a variety of reason this is not happening.
“There are real opportunities there but unfortunately have not been fully met.”
He said firms such as Starbucks, the largest coffee firm in the United States, was buying and promoting PNG coffee.
But it could not sustain it because of a lack of quality supply, North said.
North said a barrier was the lack of investment in the sector especially with the replacing of old coffee trees in the highlands.