Parapi: Country yet to harness strength in cocoa production

Business

THE country still has a long way to go before it makes a mark in the production of cocoa on the international market, Cocoa Board executive manager field services Dr Arnold Parapi says.
Parapi said during the signing of an agreement with the Milne Bay government the country’s strength lay in the quality of cocoa it produced.
“We will continue to harness our strength. We have the climate, we have genetic material, we have the soil and the hardworking people who give us quality product,” Parapi said.
“However we have a long way to go in making a strong mark as far as production in the international market,” Parapi said. He said Milne Bay, West New Britain, West Sepik, New Ireland, Manus and Northern were into cocoa production.
Parapi said the Cocoa Board of PNG would  be set up in the province.
“Transport, lack of infrastructure, high freight costs and lack of access to markets are critical,” he said.
“Once the market is there, it motivates people to produce more because they will begin to have money in their pockets.”
Provincial administrator Michael Kape said cocoa development in Milne Bay covered Misima, Goodenough and Alotau.

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