IN an effort to revive economic activities in Morobe local level government, tilapia farming and cocoa are being introduced as alternative sources of income for the community.
Michael Gape, Morobe LLG president, arranged a two-day expedition for 20 farmers in his LLG to visit tilapia farms and cocoa plantations in Potsie and Gabsongkeg area of the Markham district.
Mr Gape said that economic activities had died down considerably in the past 10 to 15 years in Morobe LLG due to a lack of regular shipping services.
“After the Government stopped its regular shipping service to our district, the people could not sustain their cocoa plantations and most economic activities died down. We are trying to revive this and this expedition is part of that programme,” he said.
Mr Gape is working closely with Bris Kanda, an organisation that was established to administer donor funding from New Zealand AID for small scale economic activities in the Huon Gulf district.
The farmers spent the first day of their visit in Gabsongkeg to see the methods used to grow cocoa and the second leg of their visit was spent at Potsie where Bris Kanda had initiated their inland fish farming project three years ago.
Lukis Romaso, manager of Bris Kanda, told the farmers that Bris Kanda has secured markets for their cocoa, the farmers needed to maintain the quality and consistency of the beans to keep the market open.
Mr Gape urged the farmers to implement what they had seen and to remember that they were model farmers to others in their community.
After the farmers had set up fish ponds or cocoa nurseries, Bris Kanda would supply them with technical assistance and cocoa seedlings and fingerlings to farm.
The two-day visit ended yesterday.