Cocoa farming on Djaul Island in New Ireland

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Located north off Kavieng lies the island of DJaul. Piliwa is one of seven villages scattered on a land mass of 100km2 where locals from Piliwa have decided to cultivate cocoa to sustain their livelihoods.

August Bartsaka a local community leader has been leading the cause through a partnership with the New Ireland Primary Industry department through the cocoa rehabilitation program. So far a total of 12,000 cocoa plants are in nursery on the Island.

On Tuesday the 24th of November New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan, Deputy Governor Sammy Missen, Director for Primary Industries Gideon Bogosia and other officers from the New Ireland Government travelled to the Island upon invitation by Augustine and the locals. They were invited to the launching of the cocoa nursery.

Bartsaka whilst addressing the visitors conveyed his dream to get the cocoa project up and running on the Island. He confirmed that there are a total of 82 farmers who have shown interest in cocoa farming. Each farmer will be receiving 300 cocoa plants each.

Director Bogosia encouraged the farmers to be serious about cocoa farming stating the crop was now gaining momentum with farmers from other parts of the country.

Governor Sir J said there is no end to agriculture development and the New Ireland Government through DPI would ensure there is an avenue for the farmers to sell their cocoa.

DPI has rehabilitated cocoa trees as well as developed nurseries and increased copra production volumes for New Ireland Province from 2000 tons to more than 10,000 tons in the last five years.

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