21 Apr 2009

Bougainville acts to stop PNG cocoa pest

3:11 pm on 21 April 2009

The autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville is taking measures to ensure that the deadly cocoa pod borer disease does not spread there from East New Britain.

The Post Courier newspaper reports the acting Bougainville President Joseph Watawi has called on Bougainvilleans traveling from East New Britain into Bougainville to take extra care they do not bring in the disease.

Mr Watawi says the disease had destroyed East New Britain's cocoa industry and it would have the same effect on Bougainville's.

He says cocoa is a big money earner for the province and everyone should work together to look after the industry.

A 45 strong delegation from Bougainville is in East New Britain attending a workshop on how to contain the spread of the disease.

Mr Watawi says the Bougainville administration will put measures in place to quarantine all air and sea ports so that no foreign flowers or plant species entered Bougainville.