International Chocolate Festival To Be Held In Bougainville

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Government supporting sustainable growth in cocoa industry

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, April 8, 2016) – Farmers in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville will be boosted by the Inaugural Bougainville Chocolate Festival to be held in Buin and Arawa from July 4-8.

Autonomous Bougainville Government Minister for Primary Industries Nicholas Darku said the festival is part of the ABG’s commitment to sustainable growth in the cocoa industry.

"It will bring together farmers and cocoa industry stakeholders to develop market links and boost production," he said.

"A central element of the festival will include international chocolatiers tasting and appraising chocolate made from Bougainville cocoa to provide farmers with feedback to lift production of high quality cocoa for international markets.

"With agriculture displays and demonstrations, business development showcases and a variety of entertainment, the festival is set to be a key event in the economic development of the region, as well as a fun day out for families."

Darku said cocoa farmers have faced many challenges and constraints in recent years, including the unwelcome arrival of the damaging cocoa pod borer.

The festival is an initiative of the Autonomous Government of Bougainville led by the Department of Primary Industries in partnership with the Australian Government.

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