OUTSPAN PNG Ltd has rewarded cocoa growers in Mamose with incentives totalling K325,000 through its Rainforest Alliance incentive payout programme.
Farmers in Yangoru and Angoram, East Sepik, received K125,000 while those in Madang received K90,000 and Markham in Morobe K110, 000.
The premium payments were determined by volumes supplied through various sustainability programmes aimed at improving crop yields, quality and farmer livelihoods.
East Sepik Cocoa Board regional manager Daryll Worimo Wobar acknowledged Outspan’s efforts.
He said it added value by bringing buyers directly to farms on a regular basis to understand more about how cocoa was grown in the country.
Wobar said no other export business had implemented such projects like Outspan with its unwavering approach to directly invest in farmers that supply cocoa beans.
National Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Authority regional manager Sophie Numbuk was impressed to witness cocoa farmers receive additional incentives for their efforts in cocoa.
She said there was an increasing market interest for quality PNG cocoa beans due to the unique flavor.
Numbuk encouraged farmers to continue applying best practices to meet future demand.
In Madang, 250 farmers were rewarded on Thursday.
Division of primary industry assistant director Godfreid Savi said there was no better example of working in partnership than what Outspan was undertaking in Madang.
He said the approach between Outspan and farmers, involving various stakeholders, was reaping rewards in the development of cocoa Industry in country.
Savi said farmers’ efforts to boost cocoa production in Madang resulted in K61 million being paid to them in 2018 compare to K40 million in 2017.
He said the Outspan and Rainforest Alliance programme demonstrated real passion and true heart for cocoa farmers.
The company also conducts cocoa sustainability projects in East Sepik, Madang, Morobe and East New Britain in conjunction with international chocolate companies Mars, Lindt and Puratos.
The programmes aim to improve farmers’ livelihoods by providing free training support, tools, seedling distribution, market access support and reward programmes.
Source: The National PNG