Efforts to revive Fiji's cyclone-ravaged cocoa industry

Efforts are underway in Fiji to revive the country's cocoa industry, one year on from Tropical Cyclone Winston.

A European Union-funded project, in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, has set up three new cocoa processing units, each of which includes a fermenter and cocoa dryer.

The co-founder of a Fiji-based chocolate company, Tomohito Zukoshi, built the units and says they will provide a consistent A-grade quality cocoa for export.

Mr Zukoshi said Cyclone Winston devastated Fiji's cocoa sector and it is still recovering.

"We had invested so much of our manpower to do the pruning, and clearing, before the cyclone and then the cyclone hit and it just became worse - we lost the entire 2016's crops."

Tomohito Zukoshi says the cocoa-processing units will be community-managed.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community says plans are also well underway to build a cocoa nursery housing 50,000 plants.


Photo: RNZ