Tinputz couple are leading cocoa farmers

“Imagine working hard for two weeks to earn only K60! That was the struggle,” James said.

The couple have 500 cocoa trees in Teop, Tinputz District, in Bougainville’s north. In the past, James looked after the cocoa farm, while Emelia spent her time tending to the garden and fishing.

Despite their efforts, they struggled to save money or plan for the future.

But things started to change in 2017 when Emelia went with a friend to a CARE International training under the Bougainville Cocoa Families Support Project (BECOMES).

B’ville cocoa growers bounce back

Though borer eggs are almost invisible to the naked eye, and in their adult form are only a mosquito-sized moth, their presence can cause drastic drops to the quality and quantity of cocoa yields.

They are one of many challenges faced by Bougainville’s smallholder farmers, whose livelihoods depend on slender margins.

“In addition to cocoa pod borer, there are a range of difficulties that affected production – mainly accessing markets and limited technical assistance,” Ambi explained.

Cocoa grants applications open

The grants scheme is an initiative of the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the governments of Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand, and implemented through the Bougainville Partnership’s Commodity Support Facility.

The announcement follows the completion of a first round of grants which supported 25 famers groups from 2017-2020.

Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp said the program is part of a partnership to foster agriculture and economic development in Bougainville.

“Australia is delighted to support this program’s continuation,” he said.

ENB ward’s first cocoa export to Japan

Destined for its buyer, Tachibana Company in Japan, the 5 hundred kilograms of smoke taint free cocoa beans are the first of a total of 2 tons that will be delivered to the company.

This arrangement was made possible through assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) financial project under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) that it facilitates in the country, through relevant government agencies.


Pomio to export cocoa to Japan

The launch of the first of seven solar dryers over the weekend marks another milestone in helping farmers continue to meet the international standards required for global confectionary markets.

With an initial shipment of 500 kilograms of cocoa planned for delivery to Japan in the coming weeks, the solar dryers demonstrate how much needed incomes can be generated in an environmentally sustainable way.

New cocoa dryer for Wakunai group

Officially handed over on October 9th in Terra Constituency, the cocoa dryer was provided as part of CARE International’s Bougainville Cocoa Families Support (BECOMES) project, supported by the Australian and New Zealand governments in partnership with the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the Government of Papua New Guinea.

New tools for cocoa farmers

Presented to Queerie Economic Unit in Puto village, Mahari Constituency recently, the tools include wheelbarrows, fertiliser, chainsaws, secateurs, bowsaws, pole pruners and a tractor.

Queerie farmer Steven Hetsi said he was grateful for the tools, which will make cocoa farming easier.

“In the past we used bush knives to work in the farms. With the new tools there will be a big change to generate sufficient income that can support me and my family,” Hetsi said.

Investing in green commodities for Pomio

These efforts were given a significant boost with a second K100,000 grant provided by the Pomio District Development Authority on June 20th. This follows a previous investment made in September 2018.

This funding will support the continuing efforts of farmers in the Melkoi Local Level Government to construct a second solar cocoa dryer, enable their participation in the Cocoa Excellence show in Lae to showcase products and continue developing locally made chocolate.

New Queen Emma Chocolate range

The new range are produced from an improved processing method and sourced from locally grown premium cocoa in PNG.

The new range aims to capitalise on the PNG market while also being exportable, with new product the Kina Bar, priced at K1.

Paradise Foods Limited unveiled the products which showcase a new vibrant colour scheme, design as well as taste.

CEO Michael Shields said the new range is a result of a review into the value adding process, production and recipes of the Queen Emma brand.

Pomio to export cocoa to Japan

Communities in Pomio district produce large amounts of cocoa but are isolated and lack access to transport infrastructure, making it difficult to supply their products to international markets.

With the recent signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding, these communities who are part of the Tavolo Wildlife Management Area, are now pioneering a new business venture that will see high quality cocoa exported directly to Japan.