K100,000 freight subsidy for Garaina

The Cocoa Board of PNG’s Momase regional coordinator, Anton Ningi, highlighted the importance of the freight subsidy program, saying a lack of infrastructure is a costly burden for our rural cocoa farmers to shoulder alone.

Cocoa development in Garaina valley, in Morobe’s Wau-Waria electorate, started in 2015, where 81,000 trees were planted within the three stations of Garasa, Omora and Garaina.

Cocoa Farmers Ecstatic

“The women believe the project will bring extra income to improve their lives – more children will have the chance to further their studies as families will have enough money for school fees and mothers anticipate growing their ‘liklik bisnis’ activities once they have extra money from cocoa farming,” said Lasua.

Just over K10 million in grant funding has been committed to support 25 Bougainville cocoa cooperatives through the Bougainville Partnership Commodity Support Facility (CSF), supported by the governments of Australia and New Zealand.

Cocoa Farmers Upskilled

In its mission to bring financial services closer to rural communities, the programme also brought along MiBank officers to open bank accounts and banking cards for farmers, including some mothers and girls.

This will enable farmers to get access to an expanded range of tailored and inclusive banking systems, including loans, payment products, and saving services.

Low Farming Production Factors Revealed

The study outlined that the lack of requisite knowledge and skills at all levels of production, inadequate transport and market infrastructure and limited financial literacy knowledge negatively affect the wellbeing of rural households in the Sepik Region.

Youth Keen On Training

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) under the EU Funded UN Joint STREIT Programme in PNG recently conducted six capacity building trainings for cocoa and vanilla farmers in different remote parts of the Greater Sepik Region.

The interests shown by the youths were the highlights in all training venues who made up 54 percent of total 626 trainees.

Organic, Fairtrade Papua New Guinea Bar Showcases PNG Cocoa Farmers

With fewer than 200 bars available, the chocolate is made from organic, Fairtrade beans grown by the Yangoru Cocoa Development Project, based in Wewak, in the remote northern region of East Sepik province. A collaborative farming initiative, 529 small scale farmers grow cocoa beans, supporting a community of more than 2600 people. The co-operative became certified in 2020, and cocoa is their main source of income.

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.