Cocoa board starts farming company

National

THE COCOA Board of Papua New Guinea has launched a new company to facilitate a shift by small farmers from subsistence farming to running small profitable businesses.
Chief executive Boto Gaupu said the PNG Agriculture Company (PNGAC) would boost output, quality and incomes for farmers.
He said the board wanted to increase PNG’s share of the world cocoa market by creating a different farmer shareholder business model which would move farmers from small-scale farming to running a small profitable business, as well as profiting the whole value chain.
Gaupu said initially PNGAC would be owned by a growing number of rural farmers in the cocoa industry in ENB for an initial period and gradually expand with the Cocoa Board as a shareholder but the board would exit at an appropriate time.
He said the business evolved from a consultative process involving many farmers in ENB, the Cocoa Board and Department of Agriculture and Livestock.
It was developed with support from the Department of National Planning, Bank of PNG and other stakeholders.
Their aim is to have at least over 20,000 farmers as shareholders in the next five years.

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