Jayapura, 2/4 (Jubi) – Negligence by Provincial and Regional Plantation Departments has been blamed for a decline of cocoa production in Papua.
“The cacao farmers in some areas of Papua have more skills and knowledge than some agricultural or plantation facilitators about how to treat their plants,” Program Coordinator of Cacao Plantation for Mamberamo Raya of Yayasan Lingkungan Hidup Papua, Nafli Lessil told to Jubi on Wednesday in Kotaraja (2/4).
He made this statement to response the statement addressed by the Head of Plantation Department of Papua in printed media saying the decline of cacao production was due to the ignorance of cacao farmers. He said farmers in Jayapura, Sarmi and Keerom have been familiar with cacao plantation for generations. Many of them have successfully supported their families by selling cocoa products, including those who live in Genyem of Jayapura Regency.
However, he said the local government was not serious in supporting the local farmers to improve the farmers’ skills. He said the local government had neglected cocoa farmer and left them to find a market for themselves, mqking them exposed tomiddlemen who take advantage of their conditions. The local government also had no innovation to improve cacao farming in Papua, he said.
“In other regions, cacao plantations have rapidly improved. For example in Sulawesi, there have been some innovations. Many parties were involved; from universities to research institutions were involved to improve the qualities and quantities of cacao. This improvement could be motivated the farmers to cultivate cacao because it gives a considerable economic advantage,” said Lessil.
He said he was surprised if the Plantation Department doesn’t know how to control pests. “It means the local government was not serious to develop and improve the farmers’ competitiveness in Papua,” he said.
Earlier, the Head of Plantation Department of Province Papua, Jhon Nahumuri said the decline of cacao productions was currently occurred due to the pest of fruit bugs and the less skills and knowledge of the local farmer in the treatment process. Therefore, his office held a coordination meeting with several heads of local plantation departments to anticipate this issue. (Alberth/Jubi/rom)