La Trobe University

La Trobe University researchers help revive PNG cocoa industry

La Trobe University researchers will lead the five-year effort to save the struggling industry thanks to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade funding.

La Trobe research fellow Philip Keane said cocoa production in PNG had dropped by 80 per cent due to the arrival of the cocoa pod borer, an Indonesian pest.

“It’s a little tiny moth that lays its eggs on the surface of the pods, then the larvae hatch out and burrow into the pods and damage the beans inside the pods,” Dr Keane said.