Remote freight subsidy for Northern Province cocoa farmers

THE Cocoa Board of PNG has extended a program to cocoa farmers in Northern Province that aims to help them move their produce from rural areas to markets.

  • Staff Reporter
  • 05 May 2017
  • 08:34
  • News
Remote freight subsidy for Northern Province cocoa farmers

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Northern Province farmers will be able to access markets for their cocoa at delivered-in-store prices not inclusive of transport or freight costs.
 
The program extension came about through an agreement between the Cocoa Board and NGIP Agmark. NGIP also received an initial payment of K50,000 to roll out the program in Northern. 
 
Cocoa Board executive manager corporate services Tony Vigil said the payment would subsidise transportation costs the farmers incurred when transporting their cocoa to the company's sheds to be sold.
 
 "It allows these farmers to sell their produce at the delivered-in-store prices, putting more money into their pockets," Vigil said.
 
"It also acts as a catalyst for cocoa marketing which in turn promotes growth by bringing in more cocoa to market depots and facilitating marketing and processing of cocoa and cocoa products."
 
According to the Cocoa Board's 2017 special report more than 10,000t of cocoa had been moved from rural areas to markets since the introduction of the programme in 2013, netting K101 million in export revenue.
 
It put cocoa among the top three export crops in PNG, earning an average annual revenue of K300 million from 36,000t of processed cocoa beans. 
 
Cocoa production has incrementally increased in the last three years, which the Board considers a direct result of its development programs.
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