21 Oct 2005

Cocoa becomes third highest revenue earner in Papua New Guinea

10:33 am on 21 October 2005

Cocoa has become the third highest revenue earner in Papua New Guinea's agricultural sector generating revenues of more than US$66 million a year.

Boto Gaupu, a senior officer with the Cocoa Board, says almost one million people in 13 coastal provinces depend on cocoa as a major source of income.

He said the crop accounted for 19 per cent of agriculture export earnings.

East New Britain province is the largest producer accounting for 55 per cent; followed by Bougainville, Madang, and East Sepik.

However, in terms of the global cocoa trade, Papua New Guinea's production and exports have been static, making up only one per cent of the world market.

Mr Gaupu says the industry comprised about 151,000 households with one million growers, over 100 plantations and used an estimated 90,000 hectares of land.