Papua New Guinea
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K1 million for cocoa in Central province

The Central Provincial Government has parked K1 million to support Cocoa farming in Central Province.

This was done through a one year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between Cocoa Board of PNG and the Central Provincial Government.

Central Governor, Rufina Peter said this MOU signing is the first of many more with other commodity sectors and agencies.

“The signing of the MOU is a key milestone. We are committed to providing resources with a contribution of K1 million toward this arrangement and we will require Cocoa Board to put in your contribution to achieve the stipulated outputs of the MOU.

“Establishment of Cocoa fermentries and driers in the current production locations is our first priority to give confidence to the farmers to get into cocoa production.

“Establishing a market outlet and apart from Paradise foods would be our second priority,” Ms Peter said.

The province last month held a one-week Agriculture Stakeholder Workshop at Kwikila.

The aim was to bring all the agriculture commodity boards and agencies together for a discussion to establish the current state of operation of each organisation in the Province and to plan a way for development of each sector.

The stakeholder consultations has identified market access and lack of extension services as key factors affecting agriculture in Central Province.

Current statistics of cocoa production of the three districts in Central stands as:

Ms Peter said that is 99,546 trees without Abau count.

“With new developments that is not captured including Abau, my guestimate would put our tree numbers in the vicinity of 200,000 trees currently in Central Province and going,” she said.