Madang used to be the fourth highest cocoa producer in PNG until Morobe increased its cocoa production.
Currently, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville is the leading cocoa producer with an output of 9,974 tonnes in 2021.
East Sepik Province is ranked second with 7,791 tonnes, followed by East New Britain with 6,438 tonnes and Morobe with 5,575 tonnes.
Madang now sits on the fifth spot with 3,083 tonnes, West Sepik with 3,078 tonnes, West New Britain with 780 tonnes while the remaining provinces constitute less than 1 percent of overall PNG cocoa production.
Cocoa Board’s regional manager, Anthon Ningi, said when he first took office in 2014, Morobe’s output was at 800 tonnes.
“Nau, yu wanpla lo ol yu contribute lo displa increase,” he told the ward 17 members of the Huon Gulf District.
“And through your cocoa which will go to the market, your output will rise.”
Ningi outlined that from September 2020 to September 2021, Morobe exported close to 91,767 dry bean bags.
The average income earned from that was K38 million, and went straight into farmers’ pockets.
Meantime, Cocoa Board’s senior project/extension officer, Charles Koel, applauded farmers in Morobe and encouraged them to continue with their efforts.
“Bifo, Morobe i nogat neim lo kain ripot lo Cocoa Board na gavman. But through lo displa kain hatwok blo yupla ol farmers lo ples na gutpla wok yumi wok, nau neim blo Morobe em i stap. (Morobe previously was never mentioned in such reports from the Cocoa Board and government. But through farmers’ hard work at the village level, Morobe has made a name for itself.)
“Neim blo Morobe tu karim yumi na i go long Europe, lo France, lo gutpla quality kakao ol Lower Watut i bin go representim yumi.” (Morobe also made a name in Europe, France, because of our quality cocoa, where farmers from Lower Watut represented us.)
Koel further acknowledged the Cocoa Board’s former CEO, Boto Gaupu, for his contributions to the partnership between CBPNG and Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture, which is now yielding results.