The Farmer Training Centre of University of Natural Resources Environment (UNRE), Integrated Agriculture Training Programme (IATP) graduate 357 small holder farmers with various livelihood certificate following the completion of five (5) training courses.
The Farmer Trainings were done within a timeframe of 4 to 5 weeks. The farmers were trained on Sustainable Livelihoods and Decision Making, Cocoa Pod Borer Management, Basic Record and Bookkeeping and Cocoa Quality and Training of Trainers in Cocoa Quality Accredited. Thirteen (13) other people were trained as accredited trainers in Cocoa Quality
Speaking during the Graduation Ceremony, the Project Manager of the Vudal Vunapalading Small Holder Farmer Group Mr Hoseah Turbarat thank the World Bank, IFAD, European Union and the PNG Government for the K691, 483.00 funding to the project. “To date 331 blocks have been cleared, 269 blocks marked and shade trees planted, delivered cocoa planting materials to 133 blocks of which 102 have already been planted. The oldest planted blocks are 11 months old and have started to bear flowers. There are now 67,498 hybrid cocoa clones in the field on 102 hectares of land,” Said Mr Turbarat
He also told the participant that the trainings they have received will be benefiting to them as individual farmers. “I belief the knowledge, skills and techniques you have acquired through the trainings will help you to manage CPB as a routine activity to enhance and increase production and income, able to plan and use money/finances wisely, improve cocoa quality and a change in attitude to treat your Cocoa Block as a Business. Further I believe it has enable management and administration staff of the Maltaria Business Group to realise responsibilities in managing the affairs of the Business Group,” Said Mr Turbarat
The Farmers came from the the Maltaria Business Group who are part of the Vudal Vunapalading Cocoa Rehabilitation Project (VVCRP). It is one of the nine (9) Project approved under Call 2 of the Productive Partnership in Agriculture Project (PPAP) Cocoa Partnerships implemented in ENBP and Bougainville and has been running for 2 years. The Partnership has 357 farmers who already are represented by the Maltaria Business Group, while Kairak Vudal Resource Training Centre of PNGUNRE is the Lead Partner manages their affairs. Other joint-partners involve in the project are CCIPNG, NARI and Gazelle District Administration.
Under the Vudal Vunapalading Cocoa Rehabilitation Project Objectives to Objectives, there are four targeted outcomes of the training (4);
- The Maltaria Business Group personnel are competent in managing the affairs of the Group,
- CPB is no longer a threat, Growers/producers must planned their resources better, managing their incomes well and treating cocoa production as a Business, Cocoa quality is improved,
- Cross cutting issues such as HIV/Aids are addressed,
- And to ensure long term sustainability of this important intervention to revived the Cocoa Industry in East New Britain and PNG as a whole after the Cocoa Pod Borer devastating effect on the Industry and livelihoods of many farmers.