Following the launching of the Price Support program for Cocoa by Prime Minister Hon. James Marape last week in the Maprik district in East Sepik Province, five children were among cocoa farmers from Wora village in the district who turned up to sell their wet cocoa beans at the newly established price of K3 per kilogram at the Wora Cocoa Nursery.
Arista Geson, a mother and farmer said children in the district learn at a very young age to pick cocoa beans and even as to go sell it to earn an income which assists their parents in paying for school fees.
Being self-reliant and independent is nothing new passing down for many generations and the children will eventually grow up to tend the lands and have their own families.
Mother Geson whilst highlighting with the new cocoa pricing, said more younger people will be interested in farming cocoa adding that cocoa farming was once a way of life for many but the return was not worth the effort put in with the rise in cost of goods and services. The now improved pricing is encouraging and the villagers are already tending to their plots.
Minister for agriculture and livestock and Maprik MP, John Simon is advocating the importance of including children in agriculture stating “Empowering the younger generation in Agriculture will ensure the sustainability of this vital sector”.
Maprik district has initiated various programs including the Agriculture-based school fee loan with NDB. The program ensures that school aged children are encouraged to farm cocoa in order to access funds through loans for their school fees and other educational needs.
Photo Credit: Department of Agriculture & Livestock