This project aimed to support the sustainable intensification of cocoa production in Papua New Guinea through evaluating and disseminating new options to enhance productivity and profitability.
Despite growing global demand for cocoa and the economic importance of the crop, the cocoa industry in Papua New Guinea is in crisis. Production in East New Britain Province, which formerly had the highest production, plummeted by 82% between 2008 and 2012. The main cause is cocoa pod borer, but past ACIAR projects indicated that eradicating cocoa pod borer in Papua New Guinea is impractical.
Primary scientific outputs of the project included versatile and region-specific extension guidelines for intensified cocoa management, involving cocoa pod borer-tolerant/resistant cocoa germplasm, improved pest and disease management (frequent and complete harvesting, pruning, sanitation, etc.), improved soil fertility, and recommendations to improve cocoa quality and market access.