The National, Monday 08th April, 2013
THE government has a responsibility to make sure that money goes straight to organisations controlled by good boards and managements who can grow their finances.
Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru said this when he visited local farmers in Tsilitsili village, Morobe, last week.
Maru visited a cocoa fermentary and discussed with farmers ways to improve their business.
He was keen to learn about the cooperative society in the province and provided direction to farmers on how they could get support from the government.
Maru challenged the farmers to put in better governance and management systems in order for the government to assist them.
“It’s important to properly set up governance structures for the board and the management.
“The government has a responsibility to make sure that money must go to a company that has a good board and management that can run and grow it,” Maru said.
He also urged the farmers, district government and stakeholders concerned to be proactive against the pod borer pest.
He encouraged them to expand their programmes to ensure new cocoa trees resistant to the pod borer are planted.
Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture principal manager community affairs Reuben Aila reiterated the need to work closely with the farmers and villagers to ensure agriculture was sustained for future generations.
Community spokesman Nawae Boga and cooperative society chairman Nehem David called on the government to build an access road to the village to enable farmers to transport their cocoa faster and more safely instead of using dugout canoes on the Watut River.
The society was launched in June 2012 at Mafanazo village following the successful revitalisation of the sustainable crop through the Cocoa Coconut Institute in partnership with Morobe Mining Joint Venture and the Bris Kanda organisation.
Five new fermentaries, including the one at Tsilitsili, were built through funding by Hidden Valley mine and Huon district as part of the programme to improve cocoa bean quality and improve farmers’ capacity.