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Cocoa Farming Has Potential

Cocoa Farming Has Potential
Walosi Naiduki Ministry of Agriculture Korovau officer with coco-beans at 2015 Central Division Agriculture Show at Syria Park in Nausori yesterday. Photo: RONALD KUMAR
September 12
09:15 2015

Cocoa farming in the local market has a lot of potential but farmers need to start tapping into this venture, says Malakai Rasolo.

Mr Rasolo is an Agricultural Officer (Tailevu) who specialises in cocoa farming.

He said farmers should really consider venturing out into this market there is potential here especially with our climate.

“The rainfall and the temperature for cocoa farming are very suitable for the Fijian climate,” he said.

“We have a Cocoa Development Programme and if farmers are interested then we will assist them for new planting and existing farmers.”

Cocoa farming was introduced to Fiji in 1970’s but Mr Rasolo said it isn’t very common in Fiji.

“However, farmers should consider this market because we need the cocoa for cocoa powder which we are importing and also for the chocolate,” he said.

“Only thing that we need them to do is train and be educated as to how to undertake proper cocoa farming.”

Mr Rasolo hopes through this agriculture show, they can get interested farmers to start with Cocoa farming and also connecting with market outlets who can assist farmers to sell their produce.

 

Process

Cocoa season starts from October to April which is for flowering. It will then take six months for the fruit to ripen.

Once the cocoa pods (Fruits) are ready, they then harvest it and leave it in a box to drain out the cocoa juice.

The farming takes place in Tailevu North.

Mr Rasolo said: “We have a station at Korovou this is under the Ministry of Agriculture.

“The Ministry has employed farmers in each locality who are planting Cocoa under the supervisor and monitoring of the Ministry of Agriculture.”

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