Cocoa farmers to receive K40,000 solar dryer


COCOA farmers in Middle Ramu, Madang, will access a K40,000 solar combination dryer promised to them by Agriculture and Livestock Minister John Simon.
Simon visited Middle Ramu recently.
The dryer will not only ensure the best quality cocoa produced but also lessen labour.
It can cater for more than 20 tonnes of wet bean and will ensure that the beans are not smoke tainted – hence, boosting quality especially for the global market.
He told Kwanga villagers that he had seen the effort and progress farmers had put into cocoa production.
Middle Ramu, although not thoroughly surveyed in terms of statistics in regards to cocoa production, is said to have one of the highest yielding cocoa productions in Madang.
Middle Ramu Cooperative Society chairman Pius Mimpi said before the cocoa pod borer
hit PNG, Middle Ramu could produce up to 50 tonnes of dried beans.
The dryer would be erected at Kwanga village where the base of the Middle Ramu Cooperative Society is located, to serve more than 200 farmers.
Mimpi said they had a nursery where 200,000 cocoa trees had been planted into more than 320 hectares of land.
Simon acknowledged the need for accessibility which was a barrier top development.
“Accessibility is very important,” he said.
“Also witnessing the hardship you face in transporting products out to sell makes me very emotional.”

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