The MoU now forms a pathway for Central Cocoa.
Governor Rufina Peter, newly appointed CBPNG CEO Jesse Anjen and Acting Secretary for Department of Agriculture and Livestock Brown Konabe, jointly opened the Cocoa Board Southern Regional Office on the third floor of Monian Tower in the Boroko central business district.
Upon the unveiling and ribbon-cutting formalities, Governor Peter highlighted that cocoa has a huge untapped potential in the Central Province and needs collaborative efforts to advance.
CEO Jesse Anjen revealed that the Central Province is host to the Cocoa Board of PNG.
“We have a lot of potential here (Central Province) if we talk for nothing and open the office there’s no meaning. I am pleased this is what has happened and what we say and what we preach must happen. We are here to assist smallholders in Central Province, particularly the Southern Region but we must do the work for it to become a reality,” Angjen articulated.
To strengthen the efforts of the Cocoa Board, the Central Provincial Government allocated K1 million to assist in pushing for a Cocoa Industry in the Central Province.
The funding will cover the production stage, marketing, exporting and downstream processing.
“This will ensure that our small cocoa plot holders and farmers in the rural areas and wards are supported by extension officers in identifying markets at their level.
Additionally, the CPG says the establishment of cocoa fermenters and driers in the current production locations is their first priority. It will give confidence to farmers to get into cocoa production and establish a market.