Floats amidst a convoy of vehicles despised light showers yesterday morning to wake up ‘rainy’ Lae as they processed through the city to mark the start of the second Cocoa of Excellence show which will be staged here at the St. Ignatius stadium over the next two days.
Tagged as the “2019 PNG Kumul Bilong Morobe Cocoa of Excellence Show”, this three day bi-annual event is expected to be bigger and better from the first one in Kokopo in May 2017.
"This Cocoa Board of PNG sanctioned event is expected to attract thousands of cocoa enthusiasts including cocoa farmers, cooperative groups, cocoa buyers, cocoa processors& exporters, and key industry players and stakeholders."
Today (Friday, 26 July) Morobe Governor, Ginson Saonu will deliver the welcome address to be followed by National Planning and Implementation Minister, Richard Maru who will give the keynote address.
Other speakers will include one of the three (3) Vice Ministers for Agriculture, Henry Amuli, Morobe Provincial Administrator, Bart Ipambonj, David Wissink of Wapi Golpu Joint Venture, and the CEO of the Cocoa Board of PNG, Mr. Boto Gaupu who will present an overview of the Show and the Cocoa Industry Report Card.
The Ministers were accompanied by their departmental heads including Konney Samuel – National Planning and Daniel Kombuk – Agriculture & Livestock.
Mr. Kombuk will present Budwood garden and Nursery Certificates and Dry bean dealer license by to various farmers, cooperatives and exporters prior to the National Cocoa Sampling and Tasting Competition by four (4) international Judges comprising Thibault Fregoni of Australia, Luke Spencer –Australia, Lynn Jahnke – Australia, and Warren Hsu – Taiwan.
National Cocoa Sampling and Tasting Competition Awards Ceremony will be held on Saturday, prior to the ceremony which Cocoa Board’s Post Harvest and Marketing officer, Mr. Kenny Francis give a brief on the competition Certificate of Participation to CB Coordinators Certificate of Recognition to 30 top farmers.
There will be seven (7) categories of cocoa awards which shall include a category for an Overall Winner, 1st Runner up, 2nd Runner up, Best Male Award, Best Female Award, Best Youth Award, and Best Co-operative Award.
The top best local producers of cocoa will be exposed at the bi-annual international cocoa awards at the Salun Du Chocolat in Paris, France in November, 2019.
Image: Cocoa farmers from Karamui with their float in Lae. By Cyril GARE.