FAO brings new techniques to PNG cocoa farmers

1:33 pm on 21 March 2022

1705 farmers in five isolated communities in Papua New Guinea have been given support to revitalise their cocoa farms.

The Food and Agriculture Administration, with funding from the European Union, is helping the farmers in East Sepik and Sandaun Provinces.

A revival of the cocoa industry has played a key role in helping to cement peace in the community of Konnou, in southern Bougainville.

Photo: World Bank/Alana Holmberg

They have been learning how to rehabilitate and revive old, infested cocoa blocks, and restore production.

The FAO said those taking part include a number of women and youths.

The training involved learning how to propagate Cocoa Pod Borer tolerant seedlings, so they can apply these skills in their blocks.

They were also shown different types of pruning so trees are protected against disease and pest infestation and to increase the cocoa yield.

The FAO's national cocoa production officer, Michael Lames said the invasion of the Cocoa Pod Borer in the 1980s caused the decline but this training aims to restore production and incomes.

With these newly acquired skills, the participants can replace old cocoa trees and improve their post-harvest production practices.