The National- Friday, January 14, 2011
By DUNCAN WILLIS
FINSCHHAFEN district now has 35 cocoa fermentaries compared with seven in 2003.
And there are 50 more new ones to be built before the end of next year.
District agriculture manager Peter Daniels said that since Finschhafen had been working together with the Cocoa Copra Institute, capacity building in the cocoa sector had improved.
He said he was going to distribute 100,000 cocoa seeds to both the coastal and inland areas this year.
“Morobe, unlike East New Britain, has never achieved much in the cocoa sector and we are trying to achieve that especially in Finschhafen,” he said.
Dry bean buyer Ling Sari, who runs a business buying cocoa beans from the district and selling them in Lae, said they were now trying to bring cocoa and the money it could generate to the doorstep of the farmers.
“I am helping in reducing the risk of farmers coming into the city and being robbed and making it easier for them to sell their dry beans to me to buy,” he said.
Sari said it was very hard for farmers in Finshhafen because the only way of getting their cash crops out of the district was through Lutheran Shipping’s mv Gejamsao which is a passenger ship and not a cargo ship.
Daniels is now encouraging local farmers to join together to form an export company instead of relying on existing companies to export for them.
“If we succeed in forming one, I am sure there is opportunity in the world markets for us local farmers and the cocoa industry will definitely roll in Morobe,” he said.