BY ALEX DADAMU
LAUNCHED in October of 2022, Solomon Islands Development Agency (SIDA) has big plans for 2023 and onwards.
SIDA is a small-scale manufacturing company, with small processing machines currently producing a total average of 40 to 50 kilograms of Solflour products per day. This is equivalent to a total volume of 1.3 tonnes of Solflour Products per month with the balance deriving from by-products which include starch, crumbs and other SIDA’s products like spices and others.
However, speaking to ENVIRONMENT MEDIA, SIDA’s Managing Director, Joseph Poha confirmed that SIDA aims to increase the production rate to 1.5 tonnes per month.
“To achieve our new production target, we have scheduled a full 8-9 hours shift over a full 26 working days. All production sections, wet processing, dry processing, labelling and packaging and inspection sections are adequately staffed to ensure there is a smooth flow of daily production.
“Where supply of wet and dry stock needed for processing is concerned, we are running weekly Food processing workshops to upgrade and empower farmers with needed skills and knowledge on how to add value to their agro resources so they can earn better prices for crops.
“The upgraded farmers are called Profas which simply means, Professional Contract Farmer. These profas are qualified to sell directly to SIDA and SIDA pays for their pre-processed crops (banana, kumara, taro, cassava etc) at $10- $12 per kilo,” Joseph explained.
He also made mentioned that this year will see SIDA execute its first trial export in between the month of April and June.
“Also, before 2023 ends, SIDA will establish its National Distribution Centres (NDC) in Noro and Honiara. These are consolidation points for product quality certifications, branding, premium labelling and packaging, bulk storage, export point, etc.
“We are aiming that by 2024, our Solflour products will reach all our neighbouring South Pacific nations,” SIDA’s Managing Director, Joseph Poha projected.
When asked what is his message to Clients and Farmers in the country in terms of working together to add value to local root crops and resources, Mr Poha pointed out that the bulk of SI people that makes the majority population of SI resides at rural setting and at their disposal are abundant resources, which includes agro resources, human resources and, land resources all available and needs value adding.
“Since its inception, SIDA stands strong to add value to our people and their resources.
“Let’s all work together to start making a difference.”
- FEATURED PHOTO: Products manufactured by SIDA. PHOTO CREDIT: SIDA