Cocoa farm saved from rat attack

Allen Auga showing his cocoa plantation producing more cocoa fruit again.

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The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Solomon Islands has saved a four-hectare cocoa plantation from being destroyed by rats.

Plantation owner Allen Auga, 60, who has been working in the cocoa industry for two decades, was facing disaster due to a rat infestation which began in 2020.

“Rats consumed all our unripe cocoa, leaving only the trees,” he said. “We couldn’t harvest anything, it was a disaster.”

The family were at a loss, not knowing where to turn for financial support. “Our plantation became a barren land, devoid of any income,” he said.

Mr Auga with Ridley Harold, project officer of the Soul Cocoa Livelihood Project.

However, ADRA intervened with a plan to rescue his plantation. Through the implementation of deterrent methods and integrated pest and disease management techniques, Mr Auga’s cocoa trees began to yield fruit once more.

“ADRA’s intervention brought hope back to me and my family,” he said. “Today, I am overjoyed to harvest three bags of cocoa after three years of despair. Thanks to ADRA, my cocoa farm is thriving again, free from rat attacks.”

Mr Auga is one of 11 cocoa farmers in the Sali community of North Guadalcanal who have been closely collaborating with the ADRA Soul Cocoa Livelihood Project. Since 2018, ADRA has been supporting these farmers, providing training, workshops, cocoa processing assistance, women’s savings programs, solar dryer funding and assistance with cocoa materials.

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