cocoa production

Nawaeb sets sight on ambitious cocoa project

The initiative taken by Nawaeb District lead consulting team, Allied Sustainable Agribusiness, a subsidiary of Allied PNG Group will see more than first 1000 hybrid clone cocoa seedlings to be planted at Ward 17, Ahi Rural LLG near Bumayong. 
Already the first purchased clone hybrid seedlings were planted last week at the identified project site. 
Two Agriculture Scientists engaged to oversee the project, Jackson Bee and Pipi Yagamindi brought together the first seedlings to the project site for planting. 

Markham leads in cocoa output

Following behind is the Huon Gulf District, Tewai-Siassi and Finschhafen.

Cocoa Board of PNG’s regional manager, Anthon Ningi, said between September 2020 and September 2021, the Umi-Atzera LLG in Markham produced 2,200 tonnes, which was worth K14 million.

“Displa moni em raun insait lo Markham – K14 million,” he stated.

“Em lo Umi-Atzera. Yu go antap bai yu lukim senis i kirap antap lo hap; sto kamap, exporters i go sidaun, bank i go antap.

“Yumi go daun Onga-Waffa, em i bin wokim 261 tan, na moni em i kisim – K1 million.

Morobe surpasses Madang

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.

Sustainable Cocoa Development

However, this potentiality mostly remained untapped or underdeveloped, mainly due to lack of sufficient investment, support and capacity, and insufficient infrastructures, leaving the region less equipped with resources to progress.

Since 2013, and due to Cocoa Pod Borer (CPB) pest infestation, the Sepik Region has experienced a decline in its cocoa production. The pest invasion has forced farmers to abandon infested cocoa blocks, which has led to the closing of most of the cocoa dry bean exporters in the region.

Farmers Fight Declining Yields

Cocoa farmer, Ray Kwingu worriedly said: “One of my kids left school because we could not pay the school fees. The school fees for another kid studying in secondary school is still to be paid, and we need to settle it soon.”

Ray, a 63-year-old father of five from the Varigu village in East Sepik Province, has less than 0.5 hectares of cocoa garden as his sole source of income. He and his wife, Jenny, work hard to make sure this cocoa garden with its 300 trees pays for their kids’ school fees, medical bills and nutritious food for their family.

Could this fruit solve an impending chocolate crisis?

Scientists may have found a way to solve a potential impending shortage of cocoa, which could affect future chocolate production, by using mangoes in lieu of cocoa to make chocolate, according to a study published in Scientific Reports, an open access journal from the publishers of Nature.

"Wild mango is one of the so-called 'Cinderella' species whose real potential is [sic] unrealized," says Sayma Akhter, the study's senior author, said.