Developing the cocoa value chain in Bougainville

Project code
AUD 5,994,997
Research program manager
Ms Irene Kernot
Project leader
David Guest - University of Sydney
FEB 2016
DEC 2022
Project status
Legally committed/Active
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This project is improving the profitability and vitality of smallholder cocoa farming families and communities in Bougainville. 

Cocoa production directly supports about two-thirds of the population in Papua New Guinea’s Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARoB). Many of these cocoa farmers have formed into cohesive communities with clear goals and objectives. These communities now want assistance to increase the profitability of crops. 

The potential benefits of improved cocoa management are yet to be realised due to poor access to support, limited labour availability and inefficient cocoa supply chains. Cocoa production in ARoB has been falling since 2009, with reduced productivity and profitability due to ageing trees and increasing damage from the invasive cocoa pod borer. 

This project aims to improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of cocoa farming and related enterprises; understand and raise awareness of opportunities for improved nutrition and health to contribute to agricultural productivity and livelihoods; foster innovation and enterprise development at community level; and strengthen value chains for cocoa and associated horticultural products. 

Expected project outcomes

  • Improved cocoa yields and quality.
  • Engagement of researchers, cocoa buyers and exporters in sustaining cocoa’s role in generating wealth and raising living standards.
  • Improved incomes and health of rural communities in ARoB, through techniques that can be implemented in other diverse, developing countries.
  • Improved family and community understanding of different roles and inputs of men and women along the value chain to help address gender equity issues in the sector.
  • Empowerment of women and youth through diversification of household incomes into food crops, livestock and small enterprises specialising in cocoa fermentation and drying, marketing, nursery establishment and service provision, and training in financial literacy.
  • Enhanced capacity within villages to manage and improve livelihood outcomes. 
Key partners
Autonomous Region of Bougainville Dept of Primary Industries and Marine Resources
Cocoa Coconut Institute of Papua New Guinea
Mars Australia
University of Natural Resources and Environment
fact sheet placeholder image
Fact sheet HORT/2014/094