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SUMKAR DISTRICT TO SUPPORT COCOA PROJECTS

The NGO Promotion Inc with its farmer cluster groups and producer organisation after the signing. PICTURE SUPPLIED

The Sumkar District Administration is committed in supporting its cocoa farmers in the Karkar island communities and mainland.

District Administrator Charles Katu declared this during the signing of partnership agreement between three cocoa farmer groups and the World Bank through the PNG Agriculture Commercialization and Diversification (PACD) Project Cocoa Component in Madang province last week held at the Sumkar District Administration area.

Mr Katu said that this program is a good program for the Madang communities that will give chance to every household to have a share to participate in the socio economic activities for a better livelihood.

“Since the inception of the projects the government DPI officers have been working closely with the farmer groups in mobilizing the farmers, establishing the lead partners and negotiating with the farmers and lead partners,” said Mr Katu.

“I am assured that the government will fully support this projects after the project completion in terms of sustainability in the long run. Sumkar District Authority is committed to supporting the projects moving forward,”.

“This signing agreements will become like a binding agent to bring us the government and lead partners and farmers to develop this program in the district,” he said.

The officers on the ground are in the mainland are fully participated in the programs under the program manager. He thanked his officers for participating and implementing this program and now they are signing the agreement partnership.

Mr Katu further stated that there are lot of times that the people in the district ask for help from the district but due to funding sometimes the district help but not all the time.

He commented that this funding from the World Bank to the three cocoa projects will greatly help the more than 1000 farmers to boost cocoa production in the province.

Ian Beb , the CEO Karkar LLG acknowledged the PACD team and the lead partners on the island for their time and dedication.

He said this is a milestone achievement for the Karkar communities and mainland communities and urged the farmer groups to work together to implement the various cocoa projects successfully.

Meanwhile PACD Cocoa Component Project Manager Roland Kerina congratulated the three farmer groups and their lead partners NGO Promotion Inc. From the mainland and on Karkar Island saw the Lead Partners Biabi Enterprise Limited and Kulili Estate Limited with their joint partner and producer organisations.

Mr Kerina told the people gathered to witness the occasion that the funding will be channeled through goods and services such as cocoa seedlings, farming tools, trainings and other plans in the farmer group respective project plans.

“Many other projects come and go without proper completion or only few benefits but with this project I assured you that this is a true project and PMU team will work closely with the farmer groups until completion,” said Mr Kerina.

He reminded the farmers that the team went through a tedious process in the last 12 months to identify the potential Lead Partners from 61 Expression of Interests. Only 26 passed through to the detailed project proposal phase and final 22 passed on to be assessed by the Projects Technical Appraisal Committee (TAC).

This Committee is independent and outside of the project and comprises Professionals, led by Mr. Paul Barker as Chairman. Following this appraisal ratings, the final list was recommended to the Cocoa Industry Coordination Committee.

And the three in Madang province are fortunate that they met the Word Bank guidelines and requirement and that is why they will be receiving are funding worth more than K3 million to implement their projects.

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