THROUGH the support of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus, assistance funded by Australia and New Zealand had been provided to Goshen Enterprise LTD with the provision of 500 harvest bins. This is to assist the company in its efforts to support farmers on Malaita Province.
The harvest bins were handed over by the Trade Commissioner in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET), Mr. Barrett Salato to Goshen Enterprise representative at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Biosecurity area at Henderson today.
The bins will be used to support farmers in the post-harvest process where products will be harvested and transported to Goshen’s newly operated pack-house on Malaita for storage and eventual distribution to the domestic and international markets.
Mr. Salato acknowledged the support from PACER Plus Implementation Unit (PPIU) in providing the bins that would go a long way in assisting Goshen and farmers on Malaita.
He said Goshen had been working together with farmers on Malaita to encourage them to go into taro farming and increase productivity.
He stressed that the bins would be most valuable for harvest and transport of the consumable produce to the processing facility.
“I trust that Goshen will distribute the bins to their farmers and will be utilized for its intended purpose,” he added.
Goshen Enterprises Limited was the beneficiary of a Taro Pack-House on Malaita with funding support from the World Trade Organization’s Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Programme, implemented through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade.
Under EIF-Enhanced Capabilities of Agriculture Trade (ECAT) project in the Solomon Islands, emphasis was made on the development of taro products with focus on two provinces, Temotu and Malaita.
Trade Commissioner Salato said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade would like to see that at some stage, Solomon Islands will be able to export taro to international markets, especially Australia and New Zealand and with the Pacific diaspora.
“I understand that the demand of taro is high at both markets and therefore this is where our target for exports should be.
With the closure of the EIF-ECAT Project in June 2023, PACER Plus is coming on board to assist the Country with some of its programs targeting increased productive capacity.
“The delivery of these harvesting bins is a testimony of the support by PACER Plus,” he added.
In receiving the harvesting bins, Goshen’s Levite Maesimae said farmers on Malaita have expressed concerns about the quality of their products when reaching the processing facility, hence the bins would greatly assist in the storage and handling of the products.
He thanked PACER Plus for providing the bins to Goshen Enterprise.
“It’s a delight to witness the tangible impact of PACER Plus in action, as it contributes to the growth and development of enterprises like Goshen on Malaita. These harvest bins serve as a testament to the collaborative efforts between PACER Plus and the Solomon Islands’ government as well as local businesses, uplifting farmers and enhancing the post-harvest processes. This initiative showcases the commitment to fostering agricultural prosperity and trade within Solomon Islands and the Pacific,” said Mr. Alipate Tavo, the PPIU Trade and Investment Adviser.
NEWS SOURCE: MFAET PRESS RELEASE