By PISAI GUMAR
OUTSPAN PNG Ltd has distributed K110,000 as an incentive to encourage cocoa farmers in Markham, Morobe, to increase production in the valley.
The district has more than 1100 farmers, mostly in Onga-Waffa and Umi-Atzera, with 375 fermenteries that produce over 1000 tonnes annually.
Outspan PNG Ltd business manager Basavaraj Mashetty said the farmers’ tireless efforts and consistency has reaped benefits with the company rewarding them this festive period,
“We are working together to improve the yield of our cocoa farmers” he said.
Mashetty, Cocoa Board regional manager (Mamose) Anthon Ningi and National Quarantine Inspection Authority (Naqia) officials distributed the cheques to farmers at Mutzing yesterday. The top three producers were Mark Aiam, Eddie Reuben and Jack Joshua.
“This is a token of appreciation to farmers and fermentery owners for what you do to sustain cocoa productions, especially wet beans,” Mashetty said.
“The company extension officers conduct trainings for farmers from nursery, budding, planting, taking care of trees, pruning, harvesting and processing expected quality, natural resource conservation and social issues.
“We are building a bud-wood garden and a nursery to help rehabilitate old cocoa trees and provide access to new hybrid clones.”
Mashetty said they had completed a first pilot year in Markham in which premium prices were paid to farmers, similar to farmers in Madang and Wewak.
By PISAI GUMAR