Sponsor of Hapin, Iko Zijlstra, recently pointed us to a cocoa project in Aimbe. The cocoa cooperative, led by Derek Wanyambe, has been suffering for years from a poor harvest. The plants had a survival rate of up to five years, the yield and the quality of the bean was low and the plant was not resistant to disease.
The cooperative now has, with the support of the local government, acquired 3,000 new plants and housed them in a nursery. This new plant is of a different race and is called ‘Coklat Belanda ‘. This plant has been introduced by the Dutch in Papua in the early sixties. This plant is from a very strong race, results in a high quality bean and has a longer life span.
Hapin supports this project by focusing on the training of producers in the maintenance of the cocoa plantations. The goal of the project is to provide a livelihood of 600 cocoa farmers. Hapin invests in knowledge. The cooperative has indicated that they would like to produce organically fertilized beans. No chemical pesticides will be used and gardens will be maintained in a traditional way. The course also focuses on requiring knowledge on disease control and management of the plantations.