BY CHARLES KADAMANA
A community based leading exporter Varivao Holdings Limited is set to export 14.480Metric tons of frozen yellow cassava worth more than SBD $110,000 to Melbourne Australia.
The consignment of yellow cassava has been scheduled to be shipped to Australia yesterday or today.
General Manager of Varivao Holdings Limited, Mr Benjamin Hageria confirmed the 14Mtons container consists of 14.02Mtons of not grated frozen yellow cassava and 460kg grated cassava.
He said the refreeze container has been loaded with frozen yellow cassava with the accepted temperature as required by the Australia Biosecurity standard requirements and already at the Port care ready for shipment to Australia.
Hageria explains that only cassava from Guadalcanal plain and forest land zone are eligible to export to over sea market at the moment due to restriction on cyanide concentration, processing restriction and access of shipment to over sea market.
He also wants to inform all cassava farmers in Guadalcanal that the buyer and distributer in Melbourne Australia only accepted yellow cassava for a while until further advises from the buyer in Melbourne Australia.
He said the best supply of quality yellow cassava to Varivao Holdings processing factory at Ranadi are Sapefarm at G.I.P.O.L-1 and Kakake/Sopapera farm at Fox wood area.
He said they are expecting to process one or two containers of yellow cassava June next month.
He said the demand for yellow cassava in the overseas market is very high because of the better quality compared to Fiji yellow cassava and other pacific countries.
He said at this stage they are focusing to export 3-4 containers a month throughout the years.
He said once they able to export 3 containers from July to December this year it will bring a total value of $SBD681,323.23 that will contribute to the economy of the country.
He encourages all cassava farmers that have large plot or hectors of yellow cassava to come forward to Varivao Holdings head office at Ranadi to registered their name and their yellow cassava farm with further advises during processing.
He acknowledges Dr Paulson Popora the Managing Director of Sapefarm with his hard-working staffs and Mr Ben Pogula of Kakake/Sopapera Outgrower and family for supplying quality yellow cassava for export to Varivao Holdings.
He also extends his appreciation to Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) and National Implementing Unit (NIU) from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade and Ministry of Finance and treasury for quickly releasing the allocated funds.
“My company quickly boost the processing of the products at the processing factory at Ranadi.
“I would like to thank the Director Extension of Agriculture and Ministry of Agriculture & Livestocks and its Department to work collaboratively with Sapefarm and my company had fully completely on harvested the farm and finally completed the container with the Kakake/Sopapera farm.
He said Varivao Holdings Limited is looking forward to export 3 to 4 containers per Months of frozen yellow cassava to over sea International Market if the allocated Ministries and National Solomon Island Government quickly addresses the Cooling room for Varivao Holdings and Sapefarm.
He said the exporting of one container at a time is very expensive and not really meet the required profit margin also to meet lots of operational cost.
He said the only way forward to make profit margin is to export more that 3 to 4 Containers per Month.
“So, I would like to urge the National Solomon Island Government to quickly look on these very quickly.
Mr Hageria also confirmed that the exporting of yellow cassava would extend to Kiribati, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney and also to promote our local frozen goods and target for South Pacific Games in 2023.
He said the immediate need of the company is to have its own cooling room or the blast as promised by the Ministry.
The export of yellow cassava amidst the Coronavirus pandemic was made possible through the support of the Ministry of Foreign and External Trade under the Enhance Integrated Framework.
Enhance Integrated Framework is a multi-donor programme which supports Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in their effort of promoting economic growth and sustainable development by addressing their trade and trade-related constrains in order to build their capacity to trade and take advantage of global trade.