Chocolate companies in the world will want to know their cocoa farmers by 2021 because of climate change effects, says Madang’s Outspan Cocoa Export Company manager Shekhar Devenidi.
He said this to farmers from Transgogol in Madang when he presented bonus payment to them from their sales for this year. Devenidi said climate change was affecting cocoa farming.
He said chocolate factories were now very selective on the type of cocoa they used.
“Because of this, these big companies will now want to know their farmers,” Devenidi said.
He said Transgogol farmers exporting their cocoa through Outspan would have a GPS mapping system installed next year.
This will enable chocolate companies to check each cocoa farm to get to know the farmers.
Outspan distributed a total bonus of K84,300 to the farmers for supplying 300 tonnes (4800 bags) of cocoa under Outspan’s Rainforest cocoa export programme.
The top five farmers were given awards. Madang provincial director for agriculture Godfrey Savi said the good news for the province was that it would most likely reach its 2022 production output of 15,000 tonnes.
Savi said so far the farmers had produced 10,000 tonnes.
He encouraged farmers not to think of short-term benefits but of long-term benefits for the future of their children.
Savi said Madang was ranked third in the country for producing cocoa on a large scale.
Meanwhile, the biggest problem farmers in the Transgogol area faced every day is transportation of their cocoa to Outspan in town.
Transgogol in Madang district has very bad road condition.
In some areas where there was no road links, families put cocoa beans into bilums and walk for long distances before reaching the main road.
They then transfer the beans into proper bags before transporting them to town.
Cocoa farmer Collins Iwap said Transgogol farmers would top the country in cocoa production but for bad roads.
“We have the land, manpower, skills and resources like fermentaries to produce more than what we are producing. Road and transport are our main obstacles,” he said.