Cocoa farmers on a roll

Business, Normal

The National, Friday 24th August 2012

AFTER long months of hard work, cocoa farmers from the Lower Watut River communities of Morobe province are now on the way to producing and earning from their cocoa since they partnered with Hidden Valley Joint Venture (HVJV).
The fruit of their labour enabled them to sell the first lot of cocoa bags since the cocoa programme with HVJV began in 2010.
The farmers sold their produce early this month to Morobe Cocoa Exporter Ltd, a local company in Lae.
This is not only an achievement for the farmers but also for HVJV, which has been assisting them through funding of training, provision of seedlings, nursery materials and tools to develop and boost cocoa production in the area.
Morobe Mining Joint Ventures community and regional development (MMJV CRD) agriculture section, which is carrying out the cocoa programme, helped the farmers transport the cocoa bags to Lae’s market.
The farmers’ feat was also witnessed by a team from the Business for Millennium Development (B4MD) from Australia.
In its second visit, the team talked to the farmers and explored the potential for increased production and export.
Kasek was one of the villages visited by the B4MD team, accompanied by development partner from the Cocoa and Coconut Institute Bris Kanda and staff from the Morobe provincial agriculture and Livestock division.
The visit allowed the team to talked to the farmers at Kasek.
 as there is potential to increase the region’s cocoa quantity and quality.
B4MD team Leader Paul Voutier said there was potential for cocoa in the Lower Watut River communities as the farmers had shown a lot of enthusiasm to develop this commodity.