UNDP through its Coordinator Raymond Joshua, has been supporting a cocoa project which is in line with their work in assisting the livelihoods of people in Conservation areas like the Pomio District to produce organically grown cocoa targeted at the Japanese Market, a high end niche market.

The project is being supported by UNDP, the MP for Pomio through the Pomio District Development Authority and the East New Britain Provincial Administration through payments paid out in tranches from the district’s DSIP allocation.

The second tranche of K100,000 was paid out on Thursday, 20th of June,2019 which was presented by Pomio DDA CEO Peter Paniat and received on behalf of UNDP by Senior Advisor- Climate Change Edward Vrkic.

The project has been going on now for about 8 – 10 months and they have had some very good successes very earlier on working with an international partner, Tachibana & Co., Ltd, a large Japanese Confectionary company that offers raw materials such as cacao and chocolate, and retail products for Japan and the Asian market.

Since securing market arrangements and requirements after trails in Poiyo village of the Melkoi LLG area in ENBP, which has produced very desirable results, this now enables for the first trail exports to Japan of 2 tons of solar dried organically grown cocoa beans consisting of 32 bags each weighing 63.5 kilograms that will be fetching a price at US$5 dollars per kilogram.  

By Roderick MANDAU
July 8, 2019