Society focusing on cocoa

Business

The Wames community of Wampar local level government in Morobe has prioritised cocoa as its main cash crop.
In 2015, the people of Wames formed the Babuaf Cocoa Farmers’ Cooperative Society.
Chairman Jerry Mugu told The National that through the society, they had built one cocoa nursery and one budwood garden.
“In 2016, Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture (WGJV) made it possible for us to travel to Kokopo where we visited the Tavilo cocoa seed garden,” he said.
Mugu said on return the cooperative decided to develop a nursery garden.
He said the joint-venture then helped them establish a nursery and budwood garden – each covering one hectare.
“Wafi-Golpu Jointure Venture paid for three communal solar combination and pre-fabricated cocoa dryers which CBPNG had completed building last year.
“We have produced 21 bags of dried cocoa beans which we’ve sold out recently and we are expecting to produce 40 to 50 bags in our next sales.”
Meanwhile, according to the joint venture, under the “Mining Chocolate” programme, it invested over K1.5 million since 2010 supporting two Morobe cooperative farming groups – the Lower Watut and Babuaf cooperative societies – with these representing approximately 1,200 cocoa farmers in the Wafi-Golpu project area.
WGJV said cocoa in this region was harvested and sold every three weeks, providing a regular income to each of the participating farming families equating to well over K2.1 million per year.
Last year, the company brought in 3,000 high yielding and pest tolerant cocoa seedlings from the PNG cocoa board’s Tavilo Research Centre in East New Britain, creating Morobe’s biggest cocoa nursery at Wames near the proposed special mining lease area.

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