The Cocoa Board of PNG has sworn in a group of new directors as part of major reforms in the agriculture sector.
The new board members are Dr. Vele Pat Illa’ava (Chairman), Hakaua Harry, Patrick Dissing, Romeo Tohiana and Ray Gima.
Speaking during the ceremony, Chairman and Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Dr. Vele Pat Illa’ava, said the country’s cocoa industry is recovering from the Cocoa Pod Borer Disease and PNG is now in a better position to compete in global markets.
Dr. Illa’ava said the three directors would add value in addressing cocoa industry challenges in PNG, which includes mobilising farmers and cocoa technologies to maximise cocoa quality and increased production for trade.
He added the decision for the appointment of the board of directors is in line of support from an industry wide consultation in 2014.
Meanwhile, Cocoa Board CEO, Boto Gaupu, said the appointments are timely with the ongoing roll out of the cocoa pod borer tolerant clones, which comes under a 10-year strategic plan that was launched in Lae recently.
“The 10 year plan encompasses and embraces cocoa industry-wide issues. This includes infrastructure, mobilising quantity, enhancing quality and market access for trade and exports,” Gaupu said.