By Alfred Sasako
NORTH West Guadalcanal MP Bodo Dettke has taken the Noni revolution to new heights, announcing a “No Kilo, No Pay” policy as the hallmark for his out-grower scheme.
Dettke announced making available free land for the first out-growers’ program, which starts almost immediately. Some 1,500 farmers will take up the first 300 farming plots in the Betikama Area Ward on North West Guadalcanal.
An additional 2,000 farmers will sign up in the second out-growers program with up to 400 farming plots in the Constituency’s Kolumatana Area Ward. All plots consist of half hectares or 5,000 square metres.
These farmers are expected to sign their contracts in two weeks after the contents were explained to them. The contract runs for five years.
Among those who attended yesterday’s launch was the Malaita Premier, Peter Ramohia, who spoke highly of the out growers’ scheme.
“It’s a revolution,” Dettke told about 200 people who gathered at the Maranatha Hall in east Honiara yesterday afternoon.
“How much you earn depends on what you produced. But they must be good quality fruit, picked at the right time,” he said.
Dettke said he believed Solomon Islands has the capacity to establish up to 700 hectares of Noni plantation, which he said would put the nation in a competing position with producers in Tahiti and Samoa, which supplies 50 per cent of the world’s market.
“But the bottom line is that if we want to compete, we must go for quality and we can do that,” the businessman-turned-politician told people living on the fringes of his Constituency at the four-hour meeting.
“Their purpose in staying on my land free of charge is to grow Noni. They will be allowed a small part of their plot to grow food for their sustenance,” he said.
Dettke also told the crowd about a new Noni factory machine being ordered for the North West Guadalcanal Constituency Subsistence Farmers Association. The USD1.5 million machine is expected to arrive between December this year and January next year.
“It is my hope that the government helps by granting the Constituency import duty exemptions. This is to help the people in the rural area to earn money through their hard work so that they could help their own families.”