Talasea residents in West New Britain will now have access to a District Cocoa Resource Centre.
This is the first of three PNG-Australia Partnership-funded District Cocoa Resource Centres (CRC) built to revive the traditional cash crop devastated by a cocoa pod borer invasion in 2006.
The resource centre was opened by Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis, and Governor of West New Britain, Francis Maneke.
“PNG is well positioned to supply the growing global cocoa market and we are delighted to support the PNG Government’s vision to grow the agricultural sector to enhance economic opportunities for all Papua New Guineans” said High Commissioner Davis.
The new facilities, which were supported under the Talasea District’s new Five-Year Development Plan – also launched at the event – will strengthen local capacity and improve local farmers’ incomes by diversifying revenue opportunities beyond a reliance on oil palm.
Governor Maneke said: “We thank the Australian Government for partnering with us to unleash the potential of this region to enjoy a strong cocoa industry that creates jobs and opportunities for the next generation.
The new facility was funded under the PNG-Australia Partnership through the Kina to Kina initiative which supports communities to develop local solutions to local problems.
The new facility includes a modern nursery, a model farm, fermenting bins, drying units and provision for a marketing centre and women and farmers’ accommodation.
By Jack Lapauve Jnr, EMTV News, Port Moresby