Cocoa pods ready for harvest. Photo credit: New Mail.

Cocoa pods ready for harvest. Photo credit: New Mail.

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.

Pacific Islands News Association (PACNEWS) reports, last night, the Solomon Islands entry was awarded an International Cocoa Award – one of only 17 recipients from around the world.

Kebu Junior responded modestly on hearing that his cocoa had won the prestigious award.

He said this is a reward for all the hard work he and his family have put into increasing the yield of their trees and the quality of their fermentation and drying.

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.

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