International help for Bougainville cocoa farmers

Mother of three Elsie Konovai, works on her family’s cocoa plantation, which is now earning her and her family an income. Photo: World Bank/Alana Holmberg

A second round of grants for cocoa farmers in Bougainville has been launched.

The scheme, which began in 2017 and ran initially for 3 years, aims to help cocoa farmers increase production, improve quality and get better market access.

Its been made possible by the governments of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand, through the Bougainville Partnerships Commodity Support Facility.

Bougainville’s acting secretary of Primary Industries, Henry Baraka, said the government is very thankful the programme is continuing into a second phase.

He said it provides “direct and tangible support to our Bougainvillean farmers and co-operatives.”

Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp said “strengthening the cocoa industry improves the livelihoods of individuals, and helps to build stronger communities.”

New Zealand High Commissioner Philip Taula said cocoa “helps to drive sustainable economic development and boosts household incomes for families.”

The grants are for up $US125,000 dollars.

Source: RNZ