Objective 2 of the Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (PPAP) intends to foster the integration of a greater number of smallholder producers in performing and remunerative value-chains, by developing and implementing public private alliances that provide smallholder farmers with knowledge in cocoa management, as well as access to markets and services that secure higher prices for their produce.
The PPAP has developed a model approach that facilitates the realisation of the 3 project objectives. Our partners for objective 2 are building productive partnerships in the cocoa producing provinces, through a competitive grants scheme.
There have been 3 Calls for Proposals:
- Call 1 commenced in the Islands Region in January 2012
- Call 2 commenced in the Islands Region in September 2012
- Call 3 commenced in the Momase Region in August 2014
- Up-scaling Calls 1 and 2 commenced in the Islands Region in November 2015
Some of our success stories for objective 2 are presented below. More information is displayed in the sidebar.
Delivering a lifeline from Buka township
The bustling township of Buka lies across the Buka passage from mainland Bougainville. It is slowly rebuilding its economy after the devastating 9-year civil war. Although it ended almost 17 years ago, it is only in the past 3 years or so that Buka and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) started on the road to economic recovery.
Situated in the growing township is the office of Monpi Cocoa Exports. For those not in the agriculture business, they will walk past it without a second glance. But to subsistence cocoa farmers, this small office is their lifeline to a viable livelihood.
One such cocoa farmer is 46-year old father of three, Patrick Gairove, from Tinputz on mainland Bougainville. Gairove has successfully rehabilitated his plantation and has planted 1,500 high yielding cocoa clones. He says he could not have done this without the assistance from Monpi through the World Bank funded Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (PPAP) initiative.
“I’m happy with the programme. It has provide tools and training sessions on block management, pruning, planting clones and controlling pests such as cocoa pod borer (CPB)” he says. Gairovi also owns a nursery and distributes about 4,000 clones to 10 registered farmers in his area. With the current favourable prices, farmers are rushing to sell their produce at a premium rate. The need to maintain and improve the quality of cocoa beans is paramount”.
Leading the team of young, vibrant and dedicated staff at Monpi Cocoa Exports is Geraldine Paul. “Monpi Cocoa Exports is not just a commercial company. With funding from the World Bank and implementation of the PPAP, we’re working with key partners such as Tinputz Community Agriculture Services, Buin Farmers Association and Konnou Farmers Association in areas previously affected by the conflict. The aim is to help farmers rehabilitate their cocoa, produce good quality cocoa starting from the nursery all the way to planting, production and post-harvest practices to ensure we export good quality cocoa” she says. Paul says “CPB has devastated Bougainville but hard work through the PPAP initiative is paying off and volumes are on the rise”.
Monpi Cocoa Exports is the only cocoa exporter in PNG to achieve certification from Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade, a huge achievement for a newcomer.
Source: Post Courier, 27 June 2014
Cocoa trees flowering again
Thanks to the PPAP, farmers in the region have planted their hybrid clone seedlings either one full or half hectare. Many of the trees are now just over two years old and have already bearings. Those who have planted in late 2012 to early 2014 are happy to see their cocoa trees flowering and bearing cherelles or mature pods.
A farmer at Radingi Ward in the Inland Baining LLG jumped and shouted in joy when he harvested one kilogram of wet cocoa bean from his farm and sold it to a nearby wet cocoa bean dealer for K1.20. The farmer stated that he can sense the economic benefit of his hard work and commitment. He further heaped praise on the PPAP program and those who have assisted to bring the project to the area. During field visits by the Lead Trainer/Extension Manager, many farmers have commended the PPAP Programme saying that their cash flows will increase thus easing their financial burdens. One farmer at Warakindam Ward has already harvested one dry cocoa bean bag from his one hectare farm. This farmer was the first to plant and has earned PGK 430 from his cocoa sales.
“Generally, farmers are very happy with the current PPAP Project and have participated well. Even those that have not yet planted are waiting patiently for their seedlings. The impact of the project has motivated a lot of people to work in their neglected cocoa blocks”.
Testimony: Hosea Turburat, Kairak Integrated Agricultural Training Programme, University of Natural Resources and the Environment.
All weather access to hybrid clone seedlings
The partners – PNG Growers Association (lead partner) and Tagitagi & Warangoi Farmers’ Cooperative started building Hybrid Clone Nurseries at Toma and Warangoi in the Gazelle District of ENB Province after signing their partnership agreement with PPAP in June 2013.
Achieving a high rate (over 85%) of bud grafting success is critical to the success of a nursery producing hybrid clone seedlings. Their nursery staff were trained at NGIP-Agmark’s Tokiala Plantation; working in the partnership nurseries initially under supervision from Tokiala bud grafters while they developed their skills. When the first bud grafters were achieving a good success rate, they then trained more local people until the nursery was operating to capacity.
The nursery at Toma commenced operations in May 2014 and has been producing 10,000 seedlings per month, increasing up to 12,000 per month, for the partnership’s farmers since December 2014. The Warangoi nursery started operations in July 2014 and has produces 7,000 seedlings per month, increasing up to 10,000 per month, since January 2015.
Recently, the Pamkubau Feeder Road located in Tagitagi No. 1 Ward has just been completed; providing all weather access to farmers’ cocoa blocks and the Hybrid Clone Nurseries at Toma and Warangoi. The nurseries currently serve more than 400 farmers and the road access improvement will allow easy access to the nursery by the farmers. The upgrading works was undertaken by a local contractor SPS Limited. The scope of works involves pavement and drainage rehabilitation to provide all weather access for farmers to the Clonal Nursery. When all seedlings have been supplied to partnership farmers, the cooperatives will sell seedlings to other farmers, operating the nurseries as sustainable businesses and making the CPB tolerant clones more accessible to other cocoa farmers in the area.
Source: Post Courier, 4 September 2015
Getting ready to reap the benefits from certified cocoa production
Leading cocoa exporter Outspan PNG Limited – a subsidiary of Olam International Limited – has been in the country since the 2000. Olam International is a fully integrated cocoa business: an originator of cocoa beans, a globally leading cocoa processor and a world supplier of cocoa beans and cocoa products such as cocoa powder, cocoa mass, and cocoa butter. Outspan PNG has partnered with the World Bank’s Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (PPAP).
“Currently in East New Britain we work with 1500 farmers in up-scaling and we also lead a group of 2500 farmers in East Sepik and Madang” says Basavaraj Mashetty (Operations Manager). “Long term objectives are to plant more trees and rejuvenate old trees with new high-yield CPB tolerant clones. Also to increase per hectare yield so that farmers can grow more cocoa and improve their livelihoods”.
“We are the only Rainforest Alliance certified exporter in PNG. The Rainforest Alliance certified seal assures consumers that the product they are purchasing has been grown and harvested using environmentally and socially responsible practices. Rainforest Alliance’s sustainable agricultural standard contributes to the improvement of the livelihoods of farmers, workers and their families. Furthermore, with lots of pressure on global warming, all chocolate manufacturers are looking to source cocoa from sustainable supply chains. Our aim is to offer our customers consistent quality beans grown in sustainable environments”.
“Our PNG sustainability initiatives are designed to work with farmers to help them understand PNG cocoa better as well as how they can improve yield and quality to add value and improve their livelihoods. We have our own long term sustainability programs in Sepik and Madang; working with 3000 certified farmers. Portions of our profit margins are committed to sustainable programs every year. Through these programs farmers get support to improve their cocoa yields through best practice management practices”.
“We keep the farmers in these networks motivated through the annual payment of premiums. With these certifications we not only offer more consistent quality cocoa beans but also support the future market prices. I’m sure our farmers in these programs will really reap the benefits when their cocoa production goes up”.
Source: The National, 4 January 2018