World Bank Official: Cocoa Potential In PNG Huge

Vice President for the East Asia Pacific division in country to meet government representatives, development partners and visit World Bank-funded projects

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, October 28, 2016) – The potential for cocoa is huge in PNG if strong links can continue to be established to help smallholder farmers get their cocoa to market, the World Bank’s vice-president for East Asia Pacific says.

Victoria Kwakwa, who has been in the country to meet government representatives, development partners and visit World Bank-funded projects, visited Kokopo, East New Britain, to meet communities supported through Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (PPAP), one of the bank’s flagship projects in PNG.

Following a traditional arrival welcome at Kokopo Airport, where she was escorted through a  pal na pidik doorway, Kwakwa visited the Pamku-Bao Nursery, where she met women cocoa farmers working as part of the Warongoi-Tagitagi Partnership, which has been supported through  bank-funded agriculture projects.

The group included Olivia Enman, who is growing cocoa as part of a project funded by World Bank, European Union, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government.

Enman told the visiting delegation of her initial reluctance to return to growing cocoa despite having a long family history of cocoa farming. That was due to the presence of cocoa borer pest, which had decimated many cocoa plantations in the area in recent years.

Since establishing the Warongoi-Tagitagi Partnership, Enman and other women were supported with cocoa borer-resistant seedlings, along with training in management and cultivation of their crops, and support to get their cocoa to market.

“This could be our hope,” Enman told Kwakwa and the delegation.

Kwakwa said the work of Enman and her fellow members of the Warongoi-Tagitagi women’s cocoa partnership was an outstanding example of a community harnessing the potential of the agricultural sector to improve their livelihoods.

“The progress Olivia and her fellow partnership members have made is a great reflection on the growth of cocoa farming in recent years across PNG, and it still has enormous potential for expansion,” Kwakwa said.

“Their hardwork and determination to build a better future through this cocoa partnership is to be celebrated.

“Building even more links between exporters and farmers across PNG is vital to the growth of the agriculture sector, and I’m proud that the World Bank is providing strong support to make this happen.”

Kwakwa also visited the Galip Nut Factory, the Kokopo Market and the National Agricultural Research Institute (Nari), which plays a key role in delivering the agriculture project in East New Britain

Kwakwa also met Deputy Prime Minister Sir Leo Dion, Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch, East New Britain  Governor Ereman ToBaining Jr and former Prime Minister Sir Rabbie Namalui, with whom she discussed a range of issues, including the World Bank’s support of PNG’s agricultural and tourism sectors.

“The welcome I received from the deputy prime minister, the treasurer, the governor, former PM and the people of Kokopo durng my time in East New Britain is one that I will remember fondly,” Kwakwa said.

“The World Bank is looking forward with optimism as we work together with the Government and people of East New Britain to create economic opportunities that will benefit both the province and PNG as a whole.”

Kwakwa also met with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, National Capital District Governor, Powes Pakop, Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, Charles Abel, other development partners, as well as participating in a discussion with young business leaders.

The National
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