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Aligning genetic resources, production and post-harvest systems to market opportunities for Pacific island and Australian cocoa

This project aims to strengthen cocoa value chains in the South Pacific islands (Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu) and Australia.
Cocoa is an important agricultural export for South Pacific countries. Some 310,000 people are estimated to be directly involved in cocoa production. Some 30,000 households in Papua New Guinea, 13,000 households in Solomon Islands and 8,700 households in Vanuatu ? between a fifth and a third of these countries? populations ? are involved in the cocoa industry. Significant domestic or potentially useful export industries also exist in Samoa and Fiji.
This project will build on past work by adopting a ?whole of chain? approach, focused on specific market needs and opportunities: evaluating and disseminating appropriate genetic resources, raising agronomic productivity, and developing and encouraging the uptake of best practice in fermentation and drying to optimise cocoa quality.
The research strategy draws on expertise available in Papua New Guinea and complements ongoing work there, but focuses on the smaller Pacific islands.