PNG growers are capitalizing on the imminent cocoa shortage that is poised to affect chocolate prices worldwide.

In Papua New Guinea’s remote north-west, a notable transformation has unfolded in recent years.

Traditionally, isolated villages nestled amidst thick jungle and the formidable Sepik River have remained largely disconnected from the outside world, lacking access to essentials like electricity and medical services.

However, these communities are now undergoing rapid modernization.

The installation of solar panels has extended power access to areas far from the conventional grid, while the construction of crucial healthcare facilities is underway.

Remarkably, this transformation owes much to the escalating price of cocoa.

Cocoa, a crucial ingredient in chocolate, is currently facing a global shortage. While this spells concern for chocolate consumers, it translates into a boon for growers in PNG.

Wading through water up to his knees, Sperian Kapia admires the results of his efforts: a patch of cocoa trees adorned with vibrant cocoa pods. “We have financial resources now; we can cultivate our own cocoa,” Mr. Kapia remarks. “With this price increase, we can make necessary improvements to our livelihood.”

Yet, growers now grapple with the challenge of sustaining this newfound interest driven by the shortage.

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