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.