Jayapura , 28/4 ( Jubi ) –  the shipment of cocoa from Papua has dropped 67.5 percent due to pest attacks and the lack of understanding of plant maintenance by farmers.

According to the Papua Plantation Office, in 2010, Papua produced 4.6 million kg and but in 2013 the number fell to 2 million kg, the office said, citing data from between 2010 and 2013.

“In 2008, the shipping of cocoa beans outside Papua reached 9 million  kg but now it has drastically declined, ”  the head of the Papua Plantation Department,  John D Nahumury, told reporters in Jayapura, Papua on Monday (28/4).
Indonesia is the third largest producer of cocoa after Ghana and Ivory Coast. While Papua cocoa beans have been very popular since the Dutch era. The cocoa beans are shipped to Surabaya and Makassar.
“We want regain the glory of Papua cocoa beans by improving quality, ” he said.
In Papua, there are some districts that have been used as a center for cocoa ie, Keerom, Sarmi, Yapen , Nabire and Waropen, and Jayapura. Besides that , he has also received reports regarding several regional development centers of spreading pests Cocoa Fruit Borer (CPB).
“Provincial officials also conduct a review in the field. The efforts that will be made are to handle and control the  plants and production, ” he explained .
In the short term , there will be a counseling program to the farmers on good gardening, and maintenance such as pruning, fertilizing including pest prevention.
“And it should be done seriously,consistently and continuously, ” he said .
He added that the demand will be quite high from Indonesia.
“If we do not take a stand, in the future we will import raw materials from abroad. Some cocoa processing plant that has been established is closed due to a very limited supply of raw materials
In response, John Nahumury argues to improve production and quality of Papua cocoa, so the production can be boosted and the selling price at the farm level can be good and the income of farmers will be increased.
” For that, there are various regulations that will be made, ” he said .
Previously, Agus Rumansara Director of Coaching Development Foundation Entrepreneurship Papua said cultural factors still affect cacao production as society is still limited to plant and grow their own cocoa.
” This tradition is still going on because people do not fully take care regular cocoa plants. They let cocoa to grow without special treatment, ” said Rumansara . ( Jubi / Alex/ Tina )

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