Cocoa is Papua New Guinea’s third highest export to the United States, earning over US$20 mln last year, a US Embassy official says.
The embassy’s economic officer Bradley Coley said the ways to increase trade were being pursued despite there being no recent trade agreement between the two countries, The National reports.
“In 2017, PNG’s top exports to the US were green coffee (US$43.9 million), crude oil (US$37.4 million) and cocoa beans (US$21.2 million),” Coley said.
“There have been no new commercial arrangements between PNG and the United States. We are always looking for other areas for cooperation, though.
“While we don’t have any firm plans at the moment, we remain in talks with PNG about possible future agreements.”
The update comes at a time when PNG government is looking at ways to increase cocoa production to 300,000 tonnes by 2030, according to Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Henry Ame.
He told of the plan during the launching of the PNG Agriculture Company in Kokopo, East New Britain, on Friday.
“We cannot maintain the status quo of doing the businesses, the same way all the time,” Ame said.
“With smallholder farmers representing over 95 per cent of the production base, our business models must focus on placing the incentives for success with the very people who can sustain that success.
“The Cocoa Board does not have a stake in the ownership but is creating an enabling environment for farmers to transit their mindsets to become more business oriented.”
Ame said the business model allowed farmers to participate in the whole cocoa supply chain from producing higher volumes of high quality beans, bulk sales and ultimately value creation of law.