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By Bradley Mariori

Cocoa Board of PNG or CCBPNG has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Wau Waria District and North Coast Aviation to subsidize freight for cocoa farmers in the Waria Valley on Monday.

The Agreement see CCBPNG presenting K100,000 to carry out the freight subsidy program in Waria and the Garaina area.

CCBPNG CEO, Jesse Anjen says the freight program is a very important program in the livelihoods of the people and the partnership with NCA and Cocoa Board, along with Wau Waria District will help the Cocoa farmers in a long way.

He said cocoa is a challenge especially when its produced in the very remote area, where freight cost is an issue for the farmers.

For Wau-Waria, the program started in 2017 under former CCB Managing Director, Late Boto Gaupu.

The Cocoa Board of PNG CEO said that since then cocoa has shifted from the traditional cocoa growing areas into some new provinces and CCB and the government need to help them.

Anjen also mentioned that Morobe exported about 6,000 tonnes of cocoa alone last year which generated almost K38m for the province through the cocoa farmers.

Anjen went on to express that land is huge and there is still potential to grow more cocoa and they have to untap this, one way of doing so is by working with the districts and provincial government.

The CEO said that freight is one of the flagship program for CCB and if there’s no freight program, farmers in the rural areas will not want to waste their time growing cocoa.

With this program, they are offering the same price that is buying in Lae to the local farmers, of which in the last two months, they have recorded moving five tons of cocoa out of Garaina.

Wau Waria District Administrator, John Worebut said Wau Waria at the Waria Valley is now filled with cocoa and they are fortunate to have CCB help them with the cocoa program there.

He said production figures at Waria Valley is high and cocoa is captured in their five year development plan.

He further added that they will go into another agreement with CCB to roll out cocoa all throughout the valley.

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