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Improved management strategies for cocoa in Papua New Guinea

Project Code: HORT/2012/026
Program: Horticulture
Research Program Manager: Ms. Irene Kernot
Project Leader: David Guest - University of Sydney
JUL 2014
NOV 2018
Project Status: Concluded
Key partners
CAB International
Papua New Guinea Cocoa and Coconut Institute


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.


The project delivered the following outcomes:

  1. Guidelines for nursery best practice and safe movement of cocoa germplasm;
  2. skilled human resource (master facilitators, facilitators/village extension workers & farmer trained in various aspects of cocoa production); and
  3.  Products e.g. publications and extension and communication materials (TOMF training manual, factsheets, etc.) that are used for communicating key messages and creating awareness.