A total of 350 women farmers from the Gazelle District, East New Britain Province will now have access to Cocoa hybrid clones courtesy of funding from the European Union under the Productive Partnership in Agriculture Project (PPAP).
The women’s groups are part of the Gazelle District Woman and Youth in Agriculture (WYIA) Cooperative Society Cocoa Integrated Farming System Development Project. The project is funded by PPAP and managed by the National Agricultural Research Institute. The initial project started in 2013 covering women and youth groups from the Inland Baining LLG and Central Gazelle LLG.
Under the upscale Programme, the Gazelle District WYIA Project is now in partnership with the Kasaska WYIA Cooperative in the Malasaet Ward of Inland Baining LLG and the Suina WYIA cooperative in the Kara Ward of the Lassul Baining LLG and has taken in additional farmers in four of the original cooperatives.
Project Manageress of the Gazelle District Women partnership, Ms Kiteni Kurika is very pleased that 2 of the cooperatives in the upscale are from the Baining area. “I am excited that it’s a boost to the cocoa expanding (PPAP) available to remote farming communities. With such funding, it enables the women group to go beyond boundaries to support interest farmers who were not part of the initial project plan.”
In 2015, the European Union (EU) came to the Aid of Papua New Guinea cocoa industry with a grant of €4.724 million (about K16 million) to the Cocoa Component of the Productive Partnership in Agriculture Project (PPAP) with the World Bank. The funding would support East New Britain and Bougainville provinces, which have had their cocoa trees destroyed due to the cocoa pod borer.
Under PPAP, for the last 5 years there were two sets of funding given as Call 1 in 2012 and Call 2 in 2013 to partnerships with smallholder farmers in East New Britain Province and the Autonomous Region of Bouganville. Altogether 7,960 cocoa smallholder households are benefitting from the Call 1 and 2 partnerships.
The other five (5) partnership groups who got financial support from the Upscaling are the:
- Central Inland Baining Rehabilitation Project with 1,300 farmers
- Productive Partnership amongst NGIP – Agmark and Smallholder farmer groups in ENBP with 1,300 farmers
- Growers Warangoi – Tagitagi Partnership Smallholder Cocoa Rehabilitation Project with 1,000 farmers
- Turguvai Cocoa Project, East New Britain Province with 1,000 farmers
- Vudal Vunapalading Cocoa Rehabilitation Cocoa rehabilitation Project with 1,000 farmers
In total 5,5950 farmers in East New Britain Province will be supported under the upscale program. A total of 1,190,000 hybrid cocoa clone seedlings will be supplied to the smallholders. Farmers in the partnerships will be engaged in various field training on cocoa management, pest and disease management (PDM).
The cocoa farmers will also receive training and awareness on social issues and sustainable livelihoods with PPAP engaging service providers to conduct; HIV/Aids Awareness programs, Sustainable Livelihoods and Decision Making, and Basic Record and Book Keeping trainings, Nutrition awareness, Gender and youth training modules, and Farmer field days and demonstrations.
There are four partnerships in the Autonomous Region of Bouganville (ARoB) which are still completing the process to commence upscaling. The partnerships are in Tinputz, Konnou, Buin, and Torokina constituencies.