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Honey is making its way back to Sogeri, the initial place of honey production in the 1940s before it moved over to Goroka in the Eastern Highlands Province.

The launching of the Kokoda Honey Bee breeding program over the weekend is to revive honey production in rural Sogeri, Kokoda and inland Central Province, providing employment opportunities to the locals in the area.

The Kokoda honey bee breeding program is an initiative of the Maoro Food Distributors. This is their initiative to give back to Central Province.

This program is for the locals in Nainumu village of Sirinumu to farm bees for honey and the Maoro Food Distributor will be the main buyer.

Chairman of Maoro Food Distributors Russel Tato said the demand for honey worldwide is increasing. He said since the Covid-19 pandemic honey is needed for pharmaceutical purposes.

“The world is demanding 4000 kilotons. The world is unable to supply them as demand is increasing and we are lucky to make use of the opportunity,” Tato said.

The honey bee program is sponsored by the Tourism Promotion Authority with the aim of selling the honey to markets overseas with the brand name of Kokoda Honey.

PNGTPA CEO Eric Mossman Uvovo pledged TPA’s support towards the program stating that they will extend the honey bee program to other parts of Sogeri in Central Province and into Kokoda in the Northern Province.

This will provide employment for the locals in these areas, especially in Kokoda where they depend mostly on tourist dollars.

“This project is a livelihood project to sustain our life once we participate,” Uvovo said.

Mr. Uvovo said he has seen the challenges faced by the local communities living around the mountains of Central Province and Northern and is planning on launching more agricultural projects and is calling on support from the government.

“We also have a bigger plan for greater Sogeri Kokoda. I am looking at the next major policy submission that will be presented to the government to make Sogeri Kokoda a special agri-tourism zone.”

“We are working on it in partnership with other relevant ministries like agriculture and environment,” Uvovo said.

As the saying goes if you have honey in your pot, have some in your mouth. This is exactly what the locals of Nainumu villages will be doing by enjoying their local organic honey straight from their own flora and fauna up in the mountains of Sogeri and Kokoda.

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