Farmers urged to share info on borer

National, Normal

The National, Friday, June 3rd 2011

COCOA pest, cocoa pod borer (CPB), is here to stay and role model farmers targeted in East New Britain’s containment programme are challenged to share information they received on how best to suppress the pest with fellow farmers.
About K1.5 million of the K5.2 million under the national agriculture plan was being used by the CPB working committee in ENB to assist farmers in training and tools to maintain cocoa and protect against CPB.
The programme in­volves choosing and focusing on a handful of farmers or role model farmers and model blocks in the four districts.
The farmers will be trained on containing the pest and in turn they would be asked to train other farmers in their respective areas.
The contract was awarded to IATP Vudal to conduct farmer training while a handful of agriculture companies in ENB were identified to supply hardware materials.
Rabaul district administrator Wilson Matava this week issued a challenge to trainers and ser­vice providers to disseminate right information to selected farmers and empower them.
He said Rabaul had a target of 900ha of cocoa blocks to be cultivated at Balanataman, Watom and Kombiu LLGs that were kept as model blocks.
It was understood K3.2 million of the K5.2 million has been expended on farmer support component and logistical support and resources. The remaining K2 million was still to be decided upon.