The National, Wednesday 1st May 2013
By DOROTHY MARK
MORE than 200 cocoa farmers in Makadui on Karkar Island, Madang, have been taught how to clone cocoa trees which will take only 18 months to mature.
Cocoa copra plantation manager at Dylup, Lawrence Maguna said the technique was known as juvenile budding.
Trained people bud the three-month-old cocoa trees at the nursery to produce new clones.
He said special tapes brought in from overseas through Agmark were used to tie a small branch of a cocoa tree from the bedwood garden to the three-month-old cocoa trees at the nursery to produce the special clones.
Maguna said the cloned cocoa trees would then take 18 months to mature and produce two different kinds of cocoa buds – red and green ones.
“Farmers will harvest three times in one year from the same trees,” Maguna said.
He said Agmark agents provided technical assistance to train budders and farmers on the juvenile budding technique.
Maguna said the technique was used by East New Britain farmers who had become successful cocoa farmers.
Robert Sumayang, who surveyed the Makadui area using electronic geo-mapping, said it covered 2,000ha of land where 1.6 million cocoa trees could be planted.
Sumayang said the area covered Mangar One and Two, Buson, Kuduk, Kilden, Moban, Kurumtaur, Kuburne and Kulkul villages.
Maguna said the group needed K75,000 as seed capital to start of the whole project.