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Project Update: Sustainable Development in Popondota Diocese

In 2018, a group of Adult Literacy Learners in Dipoturu community, Oro Province, wanted to establish new adult literacy schools in their area, and employ more teachers. But they needed a sustainable source of income to do this. So, with the help of the Popondota Anglican Diocese Church Partnership Project Officer, they established a verbal partnership with the Southern Regional Cocoa Board based in Oro Province, to set up a cocoa farm.

The Board agreed to provide the students with 200 Cocoa seedlings and to train them in how to start and manage cocoa production. Soon the Anemba* Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society was established and registered.

The training included how to plant and care for the cocoa so that it produces the best fruit. It also included a technique called “cocoa budding” which is a new system for breeding new cocoa seedlings to increase the quantity of produce.

The Dipoturu community then built a resource centre to assist with cocoa production training needs, life skills initiatives and to enable other community meetings to take place inside. This now provides a central training location, and comfortable setting for further education.

The community has already harvested two crops, with a third harvest planned in the next few months. To extend the community owned means of production, and to save money on outsourcing, a cocoa frumentary was built in the community for drying the harvested cocoa beans.

The first harvest only made a profit of 300 PNG kina (about $115) because of the low price of cocoa at that time. But the second harvest made 500 kina (about $190). This profit was used to purchase two larger pipes to allow more smoke to exit the cocoa frumentary, resulting in a product of higher quality with a less smokey flavor. It is hoped that the next harvest will have a larger and better-quality product which will further increase profits.

The Dipoturu Adult Literacy Learners remain very enthusiastic and committed to developing this sustainable local business.

*Anemba is the clan name of the people of Dipoturu village.

These cocoa trees were planted three years ago.These cocoa trees were planted three years ago.

Some of the community members and their chief (middle) © Anglicare PNG. Used with permission.Some of the community members and their chief (middle) © Anglicare PNG. Used with permission.

The community signs an MOU with Anglicare
The community signs an MOU with Anglicare

The Resource Centre was a community initiative
The Resource Centre was a community initiative

ABM’s Adult Literacy Program is implemented by Anglicare PNG and supported by the Australian Government through the Papua New Guinea–Australia Partnership.

ABM’s Adult Literacy Program is implemented by Anglicare PNG and supported by the Australian Government through the Papua New Guinea–Australia Partnership.