Cocoa is on the up
The most recent cocoa market reports show that cocoa production has peaked at 40,508 tonnes after the cocoa pod borer devastated the industry in 2006. According to Cocoa Board of PNG’s chief executive officer, Boto Gaupu, production last year was up by 20 per cent, which resulted in increased export revenue by 32 per cent. “Cocoa production and exports in 2015 was 37,571 tonnes, an increase of 6856 tonnes,” he says. Production and exports are expected to further increase over the next three years, Gaupu says. The increase in production is attributed to conducive weather that supports crop development in PNG and the success of various programs, he says. The programs include freight subsidies, alleviating the acute shortage of seeds, and ensuring there is availability of clonal planting materials that can withstand the cocoa pod borer.