Solomon Islands cocoa among the world’s best
Cocoa grown, fermented and dried in Solomon Islands has won a leading international cocoa award overnight in Paris, France.
Selected from 145 samples from around the globe, Solomon Islands cocoa has been awarded the International Cocoa Award, with judges hailing it as the ‘find of the competition’.
Earlier this year the Australian Government sponsored a sample of cocoa grown by Solomon Islands cocoa farmer, David Kebu Junior, to enter the International Cocoa of Excellence Programme. Last night, the Solomon Islands entry was awarded an International Cocoa Award – one of only seventeen recipients from around the world.
Mr Kebu Junior responded modestly on hearing that his cocoa had won the prestigious award.
“This is a reward for all the work my family and I have put into increasing the yield of our trees and the quality of our fermentation and drying,” said David.
For the last years, David and his family have maintained a strict pruning regime and promoted the cultivation of their best growing cocoa trees.
David has worked with a number of Australian Government programs to increase his yields and quality of his cocoa harvest. Through the Pacific Horticultural and Agriculture Market Access Program (PHAMA) David has trialled new sun assisted drying techniques for Solomon Islands.
Solomon Islands Commodities Export Market Authority Chairman Alfred Ramoagalo is excited about Solomon Islands first cocoa award.
“Solomon Islands cocoa receiving an International Cocoa Award highlights the quality of our cocoa on the international stage. It puts us on the map and hopefully in the minds of chocolate producers across the world,” he said.
Sun assisted dried cocoa, and increasing yields through plantation management has the potential to achieve greater export returns for local farmers in Solomon Islands. The Australian Government is continuing its support local farmers to develop solar drying processes here in Solomon Islands.
Photo: David Kembu’s cocoa beans drying in solar dryer – sun assisted drying