300 Bougainville Farmers Join World Bank Funded Cocoa Agriculture Project

Project meant to 'improve the livelihoods of smallholder cocoa and coffee farmers'

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Nov. 23, 2016) – About 300 farmers from Wakunai district, Atonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB),have signed up to join the World Bank funded Productive Partnership in Agriculture Project () cocoa component.

The response has been overwhelming and there are many more still making enquiries according to the project coordinator Jethro Apinas.

Mr Apinas said following a recent meeting in the area that many were keen to join as they had seen the first hand benefits of this project.

He said Wakunai use to be a major cocoa growing area but was affected by the Bougainville crisis and production had dropped. However he said there is potential, through rehabilitation of the rundown cocoa blocks.

He said during the meeting he and a visiting team had assured that PPAP is ready to support the but that it would also require commitment on their part as farmers.

“PPAP is aimed at helping farmers to achieve positive results but you must be prepared to take on the challenges that may come with the project.

“The Project focuses on strengthening the value chains between our smallholder coffee and cocoa farmers and the established private sector partners,” he explained.

Martin Nori, who was initially not registered under the PPAP but has since become a lead farmer on his own initiative, said the PPAP was doing quite well, not only promoting cocoa but also helping the farmers in dealing with cross-cutting issues such as financial management, nutrition and HIV Aids.

Mr Nori challenged the Wakunai people to change their mindset, help each other and work in partnership with other stakeholders to make positive changes in their lives as well as improving their livelihood.

“We must all work together to unite and revive cocoa in the Wakunai district. I appeal to women and young men to become actively involved in growing cocoa, this is our lifeline, not mining and other non-renewable resources.”

The Productive Partnership in Agriculture Project (PPAP) is one of the PNG Government’s impact projects coordinated by the National Department of Agriculture and Livestock and implemented by the PNG Cocoa Board and the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC).

The objective of the PPAP is to improve the livelihoods of smallholder cocoa and coffee farmers.

PNG Post-Courier
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