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PARTNERSHIP TO ASSIST COCOA FARMERS IN WNB

World Bank through the PNG Agriculture Commercialization and Diversification (PACD) project Cocoa Component will channel over K3 million funding support under its Productive Partnership component to four agriculture lead partners in Kimbe, West New Britain province to boost and improve livelihoods and take cocoa production into another level.

Signing of the partnership agreement was formalized between the lead partners and the PACD Project Management Unit (PMU) at the Kimbe Catholic Diocese, Talasea District of West New Britain province recently.

The lead partners who successfully applied for funds to support them develop their cocoa projects includes Kimbe Catholic Diocese Finance Board, Kimbe Bay Shipping Agencies Limited, Bariai Co-operative Society, while FOWIAD Co-operative Society Limited is looking at Up-scaling on Farm Post Harvest productivity and market access.

Under each lead partner they have joint partners and producer organizations that they will be working together with to achieve their project goals which will benefit more than 300 farmers under each cluster.

PACD Cocoa Project Manager Roland Kerina while congratulating the farmers reminded them that the overall objective of the project is to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers.

He said that these awarded projects are the same projects that the partners applied for and it went through the World Bank guidelines processes and they are the lucky ones who met the guidelines and now they will get the funding to implement projects according to their plans.

Project Productive Partnership Coordinator Martin Powell urged the Partners to fast track their setting up of Project Bank accounts in order for initial payments to be paid and implementation to commence. 

He told the partners during the occasion that this is the start of the implementation process and reminded them that time factor is important for all the agreement projects to be completed. The partners have 18 months to work on their projects and by October 2025, all projects should be close to completion.

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