Youth in Agriculture for employment. In 5 years time, Rai Coast must plant 27,165 hectares of land cacao trees and income of K50 – K100 million directly to farmers. Don’t talk to me about exporting cacao. Plant first starting 2023. At least a million trees. And we’ll come to that discussion in 2025 and for downstream processing. – Hon. Kessy Sawang, MP.
YOUTH IN AGRICULTURE [CACAO FARMING] FOR EMPLOYMENT
by Hon. Kessy Sawang, MP. Monday, 06 February 2023.
I planted my very first cacao tree in 1983! I’m profoundly grateful for I got to where I am today, because this humble tree and it’s fruits paid for my EDUCATION and provided income for my family.
I was in Grade 2 (1983) when my Dad ordered what was then hybrid cacao seedlings from DPI at Tavilo. We filled poly bags with soil, planted the seedlings placed them in the nursery made from coconut fronds. It took 3-4 months for transplant.
T’was fun measuring out 3x3 m land, and planting markers where the cocoa seedlings were to be planted. My dad allocated me a piece of land along the creek where I was to plant my trees. We had 2 hectares of land with 2000 trees.
The trees were special. We monitored their progress over the 3 years till we saw the flowering and then fruits in 1986. For the next 20 years, the fruit of these humble trees provided job, income and educated us. My primary school, high school & university fees were paid by cacao.
My late dad maintained and managed the family cacao garden. We loved our cacao. However, when he passed on in 2008, my nephew whom we placed in charge neglected the garden. He even removed old senile trees affected by CPB disease and planted betelnut. His reason was “buai em isi moni”.
The problem with our young people today is “isi moni”, “instant jobs”, “isi wok”, “nogat tuhat”, etc. They squander the gift of time, life & opportunities lazing around, Facebooking, boom 💥 boxing, drinking home brew, smoke weed, etc, and complain there are no jobs.
I’d like my youth in Rai Coast to know that, bai yupla hard lo trickim mi. I was once a village youth like you. Mi hatwok holim graun and came this far. So noken kamap les manmeri na blamim Memba.
We will establish our District Youth Council, and youth will be supported to go into agriculture.
Here’s the math:
Rai Coast District has 543,300 hectares of land. Let’s estimate that we will use only 5% to plant cacao. That will be 27,165 hectares of land. With the new hybrid clones, you get 600 - 900 kg/ha. For 27,165 hectares, that’s almost K50 million @ K3 per kg white bean for farmers.
Fermentary owners will get more.
The District will support youth farmer’s budwood gardens, paying K1 per seedling. You make money as a budwood garden owner as DDA buy seedlings to give to farmers. I encourage you to have at least 1 hectare.
For next year’s school fees, a farmer who plants 1000 cacao trees only (and verified) will get K1,000 school fee for kids in high school and tertiary.
In 5 years time, Rai Coast must plant 27,165 hectares of land cacao trees and income of K50 - K100 million directly to farmers.
Don’t talk to me about exporting cacao. Plant first starting 2023. At least a million trees. And we’ll come to that discussion in 2025 and for downstream processing.