APNGBC NEWS : 17th Mar 2016

A boost to the cocoa industry in Bougainville

Recently released results of some of Papua New Guinea’s major companies indicate that the economic downturn in 2015 put significant pressure on earnings

— By Australian High Commission, Port Moresby

Australian High Commission, Port Moresby: A new K7 million a year support package will help Bougainville cocoa farmers boost output, improve quality and gain better market access.
 
The Commodity Support Facility (CSF), launched in Buka on Thursday, March 17, is a joint economic development initiative of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and the Governments of PNG, Australia and New Zealand. The CSF offers grants and targeted assistance to cocoa farmers, dryers, fermenters and traders from across the autonomous region.
 
Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor Rod Hilton said the CSF would work with private sector partners to ensure assistance was well targeted.
 
“We want to ensure that support goes to projects that strengthen Bougainville’s cocoa industry, and contribute to sustainable improvements in production and quality in all regions of Bougainville,” he said.
 
“That means working with big business, small business and communities, targeting innovators and entrepreneurs. But we also want to see positive impacts for disadvantaged groups, particularly women and young people.”
 
Prior to the Bougainville Crisis, the now-autonomous region exported about 30,000 tonnes of cocoa.
 
Production had recovered to about 26,000 tonnes by 2009, when the cocoa pod borer hit the industry driving production down to about 13,000 tonnes today.

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