Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Hon. Jeremiah Manele has handed over a new Taro pack house building to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock at Adeliua, Fiu on Malaita Province.
The new pack house is worth SBD $1.5 million and fully funded by the World Trade Organization’s Enhanced Integrated Framework Programme (EIF).
The EIF is a multi-donor programme, which supports Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to be more active players in the global trading system by helping them address their supply-side constraints to trade.
Minister Manele emphasised that the completion of this new taro pack house building on Malaita is a testimony to MFAET’s continued efforts to provide funding support to develop the agriculture sector and to help boost agriculture production in and around Malaita province, in particular, taro production that is geared toward export markets.
“As part of the ECAT funding assistance for this pack house, I would like to announce that we are also funding the cool storage freezers to be installed in this building to ensure peeled processed taro are stored and preserved in the right temperature before they hit the market.
He acknowledged and paid tribute to the original land-owning tribe for allowing their land to the government for agriculture development here in Adaliau.
He also thanked the Malaita Provincial Government and the good people of Malaita for the warm hospitality afforded to him, the delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture and government officials attending the event.
He encourages Goshen Enterprise, who will take charge of the pack-house to aggressively establish a viable business model that supports the domestic taro value chains that would benefit farmers and resource owners.
Minister Manele explained that in 2020, when the DCGA government decided to re-prioritize its programme of action through its Policy Redirection, one of the sectors identified to support national growth and sustainability is the agriculture sector.
He said to assist in achieving this policy objective of the government Policy Redirection, MFAET through the EIF-Enhanced Capabilities of Agriculture Trade (ECAT) project, was instrumental in supporting a number of projects in the country.
These projects include: agriculture trainings for farmers; provisions of farm tools and equipment (such as tractors and ploughing machines); and procurement of cassava downstream processing machine.
Also, through the ECAT-EIF project, MFAET fully funded the construction of a new office building for the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL).
It was envisaged that the NPHL Office will contribute towards building Solomon Islands’ national capacity to meet international certification standard for agriculture and fisheries exports.
Solomon Islands is privileged to be a recipient of the EIF programme alongside other Pacific Islands countries namely: Kiribati, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Each Least Developed Country is allocated USD 3 million to develop its trade and trade-related supply-side capacity development programme.
Solomon Islands have started implemented the EIF programme since 2010. The first phase of EIF was focussed on supporting tourism development and the second phase was focussed on supporting the agriculture sector.
—MFAET PRESS RELEASE