Photo credit: Paga Hill
For the country to produce more cocoa, there has to be more cooperation between the provincial administrations and the local cocoa farmers.
The partnership is the only way to forward the work, according to Albert Nukuitu, chairman of the Papua New Guinea Cocoa Board.
He stated that the PNG Cocoa Board is committed to such collaboration and that the management and board now have the responsibility of making the necessary arrangements.
The popularity of cocoa in Mamose and the New Guinea Islands region is well recognised.
In addition to the other Southern area provinces and the Highlands, Central Province is now focusing on cultivating cocoa; nevertheless, the lack of market and resource partnerships is hurting the farmers' dedication to the industry.
A memorandum of understanding between provincial governments and their Department of Primary Industry (DPI) personnel, according to Mr. Nukuitu, is essential at this point in order to support the Cocoa Board.
He said that because the Cocoa Board lacks the ability, this arrangement will enable its regional office staff to collaborate with each province government to support the nation's cocoa farmers.
“We have people who can drive initiative like this but we need the support of different stakeholders in the industry to enhance the work to increase the output,” he said.
The government's priority, according to Anthony Vigil, interim chief executive officer of the Cocoa Board of Papua New Guinea, is to increase the economy by K200 million by 2030.
According to him, only cocoa will produce 300 million tonnes of cocoa a year and contribute more to the national economy.
“The challenge is on us the management and the board, and the government is working closely with the board to ensure we produce enough volume.”
Mr. Vigil said that there are already existing Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) for cocoa with provinces in the Southern area, including the Gulf, but they did not materialise due to the lack of resources required.
The board urges farmers to start cocoa farms because it is prepared to help them, especially in Central Province's new development zones.
Reference: Wohi, Lorraine. Post-Courier (03 October 2022). “Partnership To Increase Cocoa Production”.