Pomio in East New Britain has become the fourteenth district to join the District Cocoa Nursery Project initiated by the Cocoa Board of PNG (CBPNG). Pomio MP, Elias Kapavore signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with CBPNG Chief Executive Officer, Boto Gaupu, for growing three million cocoa trees in Pomio over 5 years.
This represents 6 million investments on a kina-to-kina basis, that will see each party investing K1 million in 2018 and later K500,000 each in the coming years.
A separate MOA was also signed for subsidising cocoa freights out of remote areas in Pomio district. Other districts already signed under the district cocoa nursery project include Mussau, Yangoru-Saussia, Maprik, Madang, Middle Ramu, Kokopo, Gazelle, Markham, Sohe, Wewak, North Bougainville, Tewai-Siassi, and Aitape-Lumi. Special projects are also being carried out in Airara (Ijivitari district), Pomio, Rabaul, Bulolo, Huon-Gulf, and Angoram districts.
In all, 66 main nurseries and 36 satellite nurseries have already been built and operational. It is anticipated that if all District Cocoa Nursery Projects are fully operational and matured, Cocoa Board would have planted a total of 13 million trees nationwide with additional export earnings for the country through FOB price at K60.48 million.
CBPNG CEO, Boto Gaupu, said around 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes of cocoa valued at K30 to K40 million (2014 price) is stranded in remote areas of the country every year and its Remote Area Freight Subsidy scheme has made remarkable change.
Milne Bay and West New Britain have also signed similar MOA’s with the Cocoa Board of PNG.