GUMINE MP Nick Kuman says the district’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Incubation Centre will support the growth of MSMEs in the district.
Kuman was speaking recently during presentation of K1 million by the Government to the Gumine office for the incubation centre.
He said the project was undertaken to make sure Gumine’s agricultural produce came to a central point from where it would then be taken to market.
Work on the centre is expected to be completed at the end of the month.
Kuman said the plan was for the centre to be a hub for small businesses in the district.
Gumine, which borders the Chimbu food bowl of Karamui, has been described as the “new frontier of cocoa in PNG”.
Kuman said cocoa-growing in the district started last year but interest was growing among the people of Gumine.
“To date, we have got 6,000 to 7,000 trees and most of them are already bearing fruit,” he said.
“We are grateful that through the intervention of (Agriculture) Minister (John) Simon, we are able to get another 10,000 seedlings.”
Kuman said Gumine had fertile soil and the main cash crop was coffee, however, cocoa growing was actively being encouraged.
“We will now be able to go into Nondri, which has a large catchment where we want to introduce cocoa, and a population of 8,000 to 9,000 people,” he said.
“By the time we finish cocoa planting in Gumine, we should have around 200,000 trees to start.”
Meanwhile, Chimbu is preparing to stage the PNG Cocoa of Excellence Show in Kundiawa from Oct 7 to 9.