23 Oct 2020

Bougainville researching chocolate production

9:13 am on 23 October 2020

Bougainville's Primary Industry's Department is following through on the call from new President, Ishmael Toroama, to push for economic development.

The Acting Secretary, Kenneth Dovaro, believes an Agriculture Commodities Regulatory Act finalised just before the election coupled with the Papua New Guinea government handing down powers dealing with commodities, will have a huge impact.

Bougainville chocolate prototype

Bougainville chocolate prototype Photo: facebook

He said a memorandum was signed with Port Moresby in September giving Bougainville control over all cocoa powers and functions.

Dovaro is grateful for the help they have been getting.

"Partnership we now have with our various stakeholders, notably the Australian Centre for Agricultural Research.

"They have been our main partners behind the scenes. and we have basically sent in place a small research, chocolate research facility and that is where our home-grown chocolate is coming out from."

He said the chocolate production was not yet a commercial operation but what they had produced had been getting very good feedback, which was encouraging.

""Our local people are very happy with out brand of chocolate. It's straight bean to bar - it doesn't have butter, so it's purely organic. And we have already got a lot of interest, not only locally but even across PNG and from overseas as well. so we are excited."

Dovaro said they were also looking at other cocoa related products, such as cocoa powder and butter, along with cookies and cakes.

Bougainville has run chocolate festivals for the past three years and won plaudits in several international markets for the quality of its cocoa.