This year’s festival, to be held in Arawa, Central Bougainville, is expected to draw thousands of people, farmers and international chocolatiers.
It will be the fourth since it began in 2016 and will be staged on Thursday and Friday, 8 and 9 August, 2019.
Festival Co-chair and Secretary for Primary Industries, Thomas Betitis, says a key aim of the festival is to connect Bougainville cocoa farmers and their world class cocoa beans to international markets and buyers.
“The annual festival has been successful in both increasing international exposure to Bougainville’s fine quality cocoa, and also led to improvements in the quality and yield of beans by local farmers,” Betitis said.
“As a result of the interaction between farmers and international chocolate makers, Bougainville beans are once again winning awards in chocolate festivals around the world.
“I want to thank our partners and our hard working cocoa farmers for their efforts to date in ensuring a successful festival is staged each year.”
The 2018 festival saw a total of eight farmers winning gold according to internationally-judged criteria. This year the festival will be encouraging ‘the next generation’ of cocoa farmers - young people and women.
Secretary Betitis encouraged cocoa famers, stakeholders, international visitors and the general public to be a part of this year’s festival, which will aim to be bigger than ever with fun activities and competitions for families and farmers to participate in with a lot of great entertainment and information.
The Bougainville Chocolate Festival is an initiative of the Autonomous Bougainville Government led by the Departments of Primary Industries and Economic Development, in partnership with the governments of Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand.
Festival updates and information will be posted on Facebook/BougainvilleChocolateFestival and www.abg.gov.pg
(The Festival is discovering a new generation of gold medal cocoa farmers like Makai Piena, who was a gold winner in the 2018 festival. Makai is pictured here receiving her certificate from National Member for North Bougainville William Nakin at last year’s festival)