Jayapura, Jubi – The Papua Provincial Plantation Office continues to encourage local farmers to cultivate cacao plants, a primary commodity in the 1990s that have reclaimed its popularity recently.
“One of efforts implemented by the Papua Provincial Plantation Office to restore the glory of cacao is through the mass movement campaign of pest extermination and cacao planting and growing,” the head of Papua Provincial Plantation Office, Jhon Nahumury, said in Jayapura City on Monday (15/2/2016).
The program, he said, was piloted in Kleisu Village, Gresik Selatan Sub-district of Jayapura Regency recently.
“We also asked both regional and municipal government to allocate budget for cacao’s pests exterminating in regional budget, because the provincial budget in this case, Plantation Office, is limited,” he said.
With respectively regional budget, the expected improvement in cacao production could be achieved, because if the production was increased, it automatically improves the welfare of cocoa farmers. “Therefore the regional/municipal governments provide cacao plantations could improve their income,” he said.
Nahumuri admitted to revitalize the triumph era of Papua cacao is not easy because it needs supports from relevant stakeholders, including the regional stakeholders, local people or local farmers as well as the third parties who engage with plantation sector, in particular cacao.
In 1990s, Nahumur explained, cacao from Papua had triumphed due to its high quality, therefore it help to increase the economy of cocoa farmers. However, along with alteration of times, their cacao plants infected by pest and vascular streak dieback (VSD) disease.
“Plantation Office recorded a decline of cacao production since 2004, including the quality reduction occurred due to the pest and VSD, while Indonesia is the third world supplier after Ivory Coast and Ghana,” he said. Papua, he added, is one of cacao suppliers in Indonesia because it becomes one of community’s commodities in addition to other plants that able to give the added value to family economic improvement.
“That’s why we are now trying to resonate and encourage, that are to revitalize the cacao production back to 1990s. Although it’s not easy, but I am sure we can, because the farmers in Papua had the experience with its economic value,” he said. (*/rom)