Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture promotes 'mining chocolate'
Selected cocoa farmers from two cocoa cooperatives from Lower Watut in Morobe Province will be representing more than 1200 cocoa farmers in their groups at the PNG Cocoa of Excellence Show in Lae this month.
Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture (WGJV) has been working with these farmers for almost 10 years through the Lower Watut and Babuaf cooperative societies.
The major sponsor of the Kumul Bilong Morobe PNG Cocoa of Excellence Show, WGJV said preparations by the company and its farmers are progressing well.
The company is pushing and promoting cocoa in its footprint areas because cocoa production enables families to improve their lives and the benefits will be seen for generations.
“We encourage and empower local farmers to establish a flourishing cocoa industry in Morobe. We call it “mining chocolate”.
“We realise that we can only employ so many people directly, estimated at 850 jobs during operations, so helping our local communities to develop sustainable agri-businesses of their own is one of the ways we can empower people to improve their own well-being and that of their children’s into the future. Our local communities will still be “mining chocolate” long after the mining company has gone,” WGJV said.
The Babuaf and Lower Watut Cocoa cooperative societies now operate some 1200 hectares with cocoa harvested and sold every two to three weeks.
This provides an income to each of the participating families and brings in more than K2.1 million per year.
“The cooperatives and their members are doing a fantastic job.
The Lower Watut Farmers Cooperative was ranked among the top five for world’s best cocoa in Paris 2015, and was among the top three for PNG’s best cocoa in Kokopo in 2017. Who knows what 2019 has in store for Morobe Cocoa?” WGJV said.
The show will start on July 25 with an awareness and exhibition float parade to Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium.