Work on the Cocoa National Factory in Makira/Ulawa Province is Progressing Despite Hiccups
Work on the Cocoa Factory National project in Makira/Ulawa Province is progressing well at the Provincial Capital, Kirakira.
The project’s recipient and coordinator, Allen Pinihimae, stated that despite some financial setbacks, work is progressing slowly with the arrival of building materials.
Mr Pinihimae said work on the building structure should be completed around September this year.
“Procurement, Payment delays and logistics are some of the factors which affect the delivery of the project, however, the time frame is not fixed, it’s flexible as long as the government still has the commitment to complete this significant project,” Mr Pinihimae said.
He urged cocoa farmers to keep on maintaining their farms as it is anticipated to be ‘revolutionary’ in terms of finance when the factory becomes operational.
The main products that the Cocoa factory will produce are Cocoa oil, Cocoa powder and Cocoa extracts.
“Keep working on the maintenance of your cocoa farm, like rehabilitation, cloning to improve Cocoa bearing and keep planting new farms. Visit the Agriculture office for advice on cocoa farming techniques.”
“The Factory will be looking at three markets namely, Cosmetics, Pharmaceutical, and Food Markets targeting countries.”
“Ready Markets are in Europe, United States, India, China, New Zealand and Australia,” Mr Pinihimae said.
Meanwhile, a Cocoa Farmer in Central Makira Constituency, Joel Naodam acknowledged those who are supporting the establishment of the project.
“Thank you all involved; this project will benefit us farmers greatly with regards to improving our livelihood. I want to thank the national government, the Makira/Ulawa Provincial government and those from the private sector. We are looking forward to reaping a good return from harvesting our Cocoa Farms when the factory is operational,” Joel expressed.
A government statement earlier confirmed that Solomon Islands stands to benefit from the project through accomplishing both a cost-effective implementation program and serving the needs of the people for cocoa markets.
It said the Government will also benefit by achieving the anticipated advancement of policy and maximizing the viability of community rural development.
Meanwhile, the National Government through the project will realign or will be able to reassess the need for cost-effective funding modality for rural Solomon Islands; especially in dealing with PPP-funded projects.
By Alex Dadamu