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Paradise Foods Chief Executive Officer James Rice says Papua New Guinea needs to move up the value chain in cocoa production if it wants to increase export earnings.
Posting on his social media Linkedin he said the country exported 40,000 tones of beans last year for USD$2,300 (K6,900) per tone.
“Our cocoa farmers got much less but we could have exported cocoa powder at $2,715 per ton or cocoa butter at $6,300 per ton or chocolate at $9,620 per ton,” Rice said.
“Moving up the value chain brings more exports, more US dollars into the country, creates more jobs and builds a tax base.”
He said the country needs all of what he listed.
“Only Paradise Foods Limited does this now,” Rice said.
“But we are small, and we cannot do it on our own.
“The national government, Cocoa Board and the rest of the industry need to get on this path too.
He said the country needs jobs today and this is the low hanging fruit.
Rice, renowned as the CEO in Paradise has had a big following on social media about his passion for food manufacturing and cocoa products development.
He visited many cocoa farmers as far flung as West Sepik discussing cocoa production and his posts on social media get many likes and comments.