By Theckla Gunga – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The APEC Delegation was treated to a traditional Eastern Highlands welcome when they landed in Goroka.
16 delegates were part of the team that visited Bilate Coffee Plantation and the Goroka Coffee Roasters.
The one day visit was to allow these delegates a chance to see first-hand, how coffee is grown and manufactured in Papua New Guinea.
Despite the wet morning yesterday, the delegates turned up at the Jacksons’ Airport to board the PNG Air Flight.
Most were curious to see what the Eastern Highlands would offer, others were happy to take a break after two weeks of continuous discussions on APEC Polices.
Upon arrival in Goroka, the delegates were amazed at how welcoming the locals were.
It was the first time for almost all 16 delegates to come up close in the morning, to an icon of the Eastern Highlands, the Asaro Mud Man and some went straight to taking selfies.
Team met made the first visit to the Bilati Coffee Manager Koi Sinafe. Sinafe a coffee grower himself, shared the history of the coffee plantation and highlighted how coffee produces an income for most people in the province.
The team then visited Goroka Roasters and Goroka Coffee to get an understanding of how coffee beans are dried, grained and packed for local selling or international exports.
The final visit was an exhibition of a number of projects and produces those contributions to the Eastern Highlands economy.
These include bilum weaving, floriculture, handicrafts and local medical herbs.
The visit was described by a Chinese Delegate as unexpected and overwhelming experience.
EH Governor, Peter Nunu was pleased with the turnout of events and thanked locals for giving the visiting delegates, an experience of a life time.
Security was well coordinated with 150 officials taking part in traffic control, escorts and close personnel protection.