Cash crops ‘rotting’ due to poor shipping services

Business

Tonnes of cash crops including cocoa and copra are rotting in remote Kandrian-Gloucester, in West New Britain, because of poor shipping services.
Joe Mageto, a farmer from Ward 6 in Kandrian-Gloucester, said the produce was not getting to Kimbe in time.
He said cocoa and copra can be on the ground for at least four weeks waiting for shipment.
“We are unsure when the ship will arrive so that we can sell our cocoa and copra,” Mageto said.
He said there was also the problem with poor storage facilities.
“We are concerned that (because of poor storage) our bags of cocoa and copra will not meet the market standard,” Mageto said.
Provincial planner Isodore Silong said transportation was a major problem which the copra producers and cocoa growers of Kandrian-Gloucester had been experiencing for many years.
He said the Missing Link Highway intended to link Kandrian-Gloucester and Kimbe and had not been completed.
Shipping was expensive, he said.

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