Vanilla growers told to produce quality product

Business

A GROUP of vanilla growers in Morobe have been told to take advantage of the strong prices by producing a good quality product.
The current market price for A grade beans is K800 per kilogramme and K450 for B grade beans.
Highlands Vanilla Project (HVP) manager Mark Gozapao told farmers in Situm, Labuta local level government, Nawaeb district, during the start of an extension programme that growers needed to give sufficient time and energy to develop their crops.
Gozapao said vanilla was a great earner for rural communities and it was worth committing time and resources to.
“This is huge money. It gives locals financial freedom,” Gozapao said.
“Many farmers who got into growing vanilla are now reaping the benefits.”
A local chief and vanilla grower Tasup Yawin said: “Situm is the first village (in Morobe) to trail growing vanilla in the early 2000s and has benefited from that.”
HVP also conducted its extension programme in Kupiano in Central, Madang and Yangoru in East Sepik.
The programme was funded by Department of Agriculture and Livestock.
HVP is the only contracted extension service provider under the contract agreement signed in 2003 and provides the service to vanilla growers.
The project has trained more than 1,780 farmers, run 114 training courses/workshops and 185 awareness programmes and supplying over 5,000 vanilla-growing booklets to the farmers.
These past achievements were funded through donors such as AusAid’s Strongim Pipol Strongim Nesen programme, the Interchurch organisation for Development Cooperation, a non-government organisation based in the Netherlands and PNG politicians and local businesses.
Gozapao and Yawin urged MPs to budget for vanilla training for their districts because people lacked information on vanilla cultivation.

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