A Bougainville cabinet minister says agriculture may be the way to create wealth in the autonomous Papua New Guinea region.
The region is about to hold a referendum on independence from PNG and this is driving discussion on the need for a viable economy.
The autonomous government's Minister for Public Service Robert Sawa, said Bougainville is resource rich but faces capacity challenges maximising the benefits of these resources.
"Bougainville has an abundance of resources but is lacking technology and human capacity to drive these resources so that we can actually create our own wealth in the region," he said.
He said the government is looking at how to establish downstream processing of raw materials.
Meanwhile, a government minister in the Autonomous Bougainville Government said cocoa farmers need to own the entire production process - farming, manufacturing and marketing of their product.
The Minister for Primary Industries, Clarence Dency, speaking at the Bougainville Chocolate Festival in Arawa, said it was now also time for change in the way the government supported cocoa farmers.
He said his ministry wanted to establish a Cocoa Development and Research Division and other facilities to foster cocoa growing, leading eventually to what he called 'a Cooperative Society College' where farmers can learn about business and marketing.
Mr Dency said eventually he would like to see chocolate owned by, and made in, Bougainvlle being promoted globally.