Big dreams for Wabubu cocoa

The people of Wabubu, in Salamaua LLG’s ward 17, are closer to their dream of becoming one of Morobe’s top cocoa growing community.

Courtesy of a partnership between the Cocoa Board of PNG and Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture, the Wabubu Cocoa Cooperative Society became proud owners of a cocoa solar combination dryer on Tuesday, the 6th of December.

On Tuesday, the community hosted a delegation from the Cocoa Board of PNG and Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture, who were there to officially hand over the clan’s cocoa combination dryer as well as give them their license.

Taking lead of Wabubu's cocoa project is councilor Mathias Geoctau, who said the idea was brought forth in October 2019 after conducting a survey.

Mi wantem didiman kerim aut sevei then submitted the report. Then in 2021, we gathered in Salamaua where we had dialogue with the Cocoa Board and Wafi-Golpu, and a second survey was conducted. When they returned to their office, they recommended that a fermentary be built here.”

The first lot of 15,000 cocoa seedlings was received in 2020 from East New Britain Province.

The Wabubu Cocoa Cooperative Society is now nursing its second batch, which consists of 10,000 seedlings.

“Interest blo kakao stap lo ol farmers but they did not expand it. We started this in 2020 when we heard that Wafi-Golpu and the Cocoa Board will give their support.”

Wabubu is the last of 17 wards in Salamaua Rural, but they aim to be the leading ward in cocoa production.

Councilor Geoctau outlined that the main challenge affecting their efforts is logistics, especially when they have to load materials onto a dinghy in Lae, make the 35-minute boat ride to Busamang, then walk for 25-30 minutes inland.

Meantime, when presenting the cooperative their licence, Cocoa Board’s national extension manager, Charles Koel, said Christmas came early for the people of Wabubu.

“Out of this, you and your family can support yourselves because money will come from this.”  

Loop author