Harry is new cocoa board director


NATIONAL Planning Secretary Hakaua Harry, pictured, has been sworn in as director of the Cocoa Board of Papua New Guinea.
The five-member board includes Patrick Dising, Ray Gima, Romeo Thohana, Harry and Dr Vele Pat Ila’ava as chairman. Dising is deputy chairman.
Ila’ava said Papua New Guinea should move towards being a lender rather than a borrower.
He said agriculture, the occupation of the majority of rural people, presented the best opportunity to earn a living for them.
He said about 80 per cent of the revenue from cocoa, coffee and coconut went back to the rural farmers.
“In cocoa, for example, there are 200,000 households involved – implying that 2.1 million people are engaged in this industry,” Ila’ava said.
He said cocoa exports was up to 36,000 tonnes and the Government was aiming for 310,000 tonnes by 2030.
He said the freight subsidy which the Cocoa Board and its partners used to transport cocoa beans from rural remote areas did not cover the lack of infrastructure and difficulties in transaction between producers and buyers/exporters.
Cocoa Board chief executive Boto Gaupu said the board could provide policy direction and leadership to the board management.
“We are very humbled that we have a board to provide leadership and lobby for the industry,” he said.

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