Province hopes to develop large-scale cocoa production

The National,Tuesday July 5th, 2016

A PLAN is in place to develop a large scale commercial cocoa production in the Sepik Plain special economic zone, according to Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru.
The department plans to partner the cocoa board, the LR Group of Israel and the people of East Sepik to develop the idea.
There is only village-based small cocoa growers in East Sepik and small cocoa blocks in Gavien in Angoram district.
But there is no plantation or commercial cocoa production in the province.
Negotiations are in progress for the cocoa board, LR Group and the department of trade, commerce and industry to develop two large scale nurseries in the special economic zone to develop two new clones of cocoa for distribution to cocoa farmers and companies developing large-scale cocoa farms in the zone.
Maru met with the cocoa board chief executive officer and LR group chairman last Friday in Port Moresby.
They hope to reach an agreement before Prime Minister Peter O’Neill visits the district in two weeks time.