Cocoa production to double in five years
The production of cocoa is expected to double its size in the next five years.
The current two million seedlings produced every year out of Tavilo Research Centre of the Cocoa Board of PNG in Kerevat, East New Britain, will be increased to four million with the inception of the Mamose regional nursery in East Sepik Province.
Minister for National planning Richard Maru said the regional nursery once completed by November this year would see to produce another two million seedlings to add to a total of four million seedlings to the farmers.
He said at the moment all cocoa farmers across the country is relying on the two million supplied out of Kerevat.
“By April next year, the Mamose nursery should start producing and we are going to increase the seedlings by 100 percent to four million seedlings,” he said.
This also includes the Southern regional nursery in Abau district in Central Province has already started and the proposed Highlands regional nursery to be built in Jiwaka will both produce another two million seedlings increasing it to eight million seedlings every year once completed.
“For the next few years, through the regional nurseries we want to plant and provide up to eight million seedlings for farmers throughout the country,” he said.
With the effort to increase production of cocoa in the country, Mr Maru announced that the government has seen growth potential in the industry thus banking on it.
It is understood the government has given a total of K15 million last year towards cocoa industry for its programmes and this year K21 million was budgeted for the industry.
“We believe that in the next few years, cocoa industry will grow into a multi-billion kina industry – it has the potential,” he said.
“We see the potential for this to grow so the government is absolutely committed to supporting the growth of this industry.
“We want to grow the size of the industry and we want to double and triple the size of our export volume.”