Solomon Islands
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Sogavare Pushes to Revitalize Agriculture

Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare has called on concerned government ministries to continue to support Commodities Export Marketing Authority’s 7 years revitalization and recapitalization strategy.

PM Sogavare made the remark when he officially opened Solomon Commodities’ (CEMA’s trading name) two storage facilities at the Ports area, Point Cruz on Friday last week.

The storage facilities will house cocoa and copra products respectively. The 7 years revitalization and recapitalization strategy is one of Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement’s (DCGA) flagship policies.

The Prime Minister further call on the respective government ministries of Commerce, Agriculture, Finance and Infrastructure Development to support Commodities Export Marketing Authority (CEMA) in its endeavor to achieve the aims and objectives of the 7 years revitalization and recapitalization strategy.

The PM said his call is made in line with the 2021 Memorandum of Agreement made by the ministries to provide budget allocations to CEMA’s 7 years program. He urged the ministries to honor the MOA and reiterated that government is fully committed to ensure that budget allocations are provided to CEMA.

The rollout of the 7 years revitalization and recapitalization strategy has seen CEMA setting up buying centers in and around the country.

So far, Prime Minister has been given the honor to open two buying centers at Pakera- Makira Ulawa Province and Malu’u in North Malaita- Malaita Province.
The Prime Minister has also attended the groundbreaking ceremony of a refinery facility at Noro- Western Province.

In his speech, PM Sogavare also acknowledged the new trading name of CEMA, which is Solomon Commodities, adding that the new trading is to promote CEMA domestically and internationally with the foremost aim to penetrate emerging lucrative markets overseas.

The Prime Minister further highlighted the new branding slogan “Solomon Is. Organic”, pointing out that the branding is read as Solomon is organic. PM Sogavare added that the slogan is an attention- grabber in international markets.

PM Sogavare said that the aim of establishing buying centers in the Provinces is to bring these institutions closer to the people.

With two buying centers already up and running, and others still under construction, the Prime Minister urged farmers to focus on tending to their cocoa and copra plantations.

PM Sogavare said these infrastructures are enabling Solomon Commodities to start purchasing, selling and exporting our copra and cocoa products, and at the same time the Solomon Commodities to establish refineries and downstream processing for all commodities and export marketing- all in the interest of adding value to our products.

PM Sogavare also added that the downstream processing preparatory work was put on hold after the COVID- 19 and the 2021 November riot affecting the country negatively.

He stated that the work on the refinery at Noro is rescheduled to start in July 2023 and after that, another refinery will be set up at Russel Islands, Central Province.

The Prime Minister said the refineries are in line with the DCGA’s policy through Ministry of Commerce to stop exporting of raw materials by 2028- an ambitious plan that other countries also have taken.

“We need to add values to our products,” PM Sogavare has pointed out.

The Prime Minister reiterated that government is committed to ensure that budget allocations under the 2023 development budget of the Ministries of Commerce, Agriculture, and Infrastructure Development are forthcoming to CEMA board and management to ensure that CEMA’s 7 years revitalization and recapitalization strategy is rolled out successfully.

Source: Press Release