Lui Ross Tulman is a cocoa farmer who hails from Laravat village, Central Western part of Malekula.

Mr Tulman commenced his cocoa project in 1990 by growing cocoa in an area of one hectare.

Since then, he now has a total of five hectares of cocoa trees.

“Annually I harvested 30 bags of cocoa beans in one hectare so if I harvested cocoa pods in all five hectares, it will add up to a total of 150 bags of cocoa per year.

“When my cocoa pods are ready, I hire people in the community to do the harvesting and then the cocoa beans are fermented in a fermentation box for six days according to the agreement I have with my buyer,” farmer Tulman said.

He added, “The main market of my cocoa beans is a direct market to Spencer Cocoa Company in Australia who purchases cocoa beans at VT250 per kilo.

“Usually one bag weighs around 63 kilos”.

Farmer Tulman has invested in cocoa production for 30 years and is planning to continue expanding his cocoa plantation.

“Increasing cocoa production is my aim so I have engaged four other farmers to work with me to ensure I meet the market demand for the Australian market.

“One of my plans is to have a proper storage facility so I already started to build one.”

The cocoa farmer said his cocoa project benefits his whole families.

“Income earned has assisted my family with our daily needs and school fees.

“Cocoa is one of the main cash crops that many farmers are involved in and have seen its benefits for many years.

“I encourage young farmers to continue to increase cocoa production and expand their plantations.

“The quality of beans is a must to consider first before money. When this is achieved and mastered, then we consider the quantity needed by the market.

“Accessing market opportunities is equally important as well as meeting the demand,” Cocoa farmer Tulman concluded.

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