Cocoa price support plan starts


THE K50 million price support programme under the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) will see a major roll-out in price support for cocoa in Maprik, East Sepik, tomorrow.
Agriculture and Livestock Minister John Simon said he would officiate at the opening.
The programme was launched last November with each commodity board receiving funds accordingly – with K10 million allocated to the cocoa industry.
Simon said this project would not have been possible if not for the confidence that Prime Minister James Marape had in interventions and projects that would spur growth in agriculture and livestock sectors.
The money was divided to different commodities as follows:

  • Coffee – K10 million;
  • Cocoa – K10 million;
  • Copra – K4 million; and,
  • Rubber – K2 million.

Other effective intervention programmes are as follows:

  • Oil palm industry – K2 million;
  • Spice industry – K1 million;
  • Livestock development – K6 million;
  • Fresh produce industry – K3 million;
  • Rice industry – K5 million;
  • Other interventions – K5 million (for lead farmers to work in conjunction with commodity boards and DAL); and,
  • Administration components – K2 million.

So far, rubber and copra had officially launched price support for their respective crops.
This has now pushed prices for rubber from K1 to K2 while white copra bought at K3/kg. Cocoa is now the third major project that will see its price supported where farmers are expected to have an increased return on their products, encouraging more production.
Simon said he was confident that there was a much-anticipated positive outcome on foreign exchange as exports were expected to increase when production increased through this programme.
Simon said prices of crops varied, however, there needed to be a base price to encourage farmers to stay in the sector
Simon said there needed to be collaboration with districts through counter-funding. Marape is expected to be accompanied by other state ministers who have been invited to witness the launch.