BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
SOLOMON Islands is realising its potential of producing local chocolate.
CEMA proved this this week, displaying samples of locally made chocolate in the World Food Day and agriculture show.
The Solomon Islands product contains 60 percent cocoa, 30 percent sugar and 10 percent cocoa butter, weighing 60g.
CEMA’s Chief Produce inspector, Mr Patterson Siliota said Solomon Islands has a high potential in producing chocolate, reiterating that we can do it and do away with importing the food.
He adds that our product also stands a chance in competing with the outside market.
Siliota said they have been working closely with the ministries of Commerce (MCILI) and Agriculture (MAL) to promote the initiative before allowing private sector stakeholders to take the commodity further.
“We worked with Ministry of Commerce and MAL to try improving production development of cocoa and coconut so that we can do locally which will create revenue and employment opportunities,” Siliota said.
Meanwhile, he shares that CEMA faces few challenges which include storage temperature, packaging and how to carry out processing in the country.
MAL Permanent Secretary, Mr Jimmi Saelea is happy that CEMA has shown the country its capacity to produce chocolate.
Through strongly introducing coconut and chocolate production in Solomon Islands, it will boost the country’s economy and provide opportunities for Solomon Islanders especially young people, he adds.