Malaita Taro farmers to benefit from packhouse

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Permanent Secretary Colin Beck and Jeremiah Fono'oata of Exodus Trade Development signing the agreement.
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BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade through the Enhanced Integrated Framework project have signed an agreement with a locally owned company to build a taro packhouse at Adeliua, Malaita Province.

Permanent Secretary Collin Beck said his Ministry has support from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the EIF project to enhance our trade capacity, so this project of constructing a taro packhouse is one of those projects.

He said construction of the new Taro Packhouse is the second infrastructure under this project.

He said the completion of the packhouse will not only be limited to Taro, but include other products as well.

“This packhouse will be actually for all agricultural products, and we have a time-line that the packhouse will be completed in the next couple of months and we are looking forward to work closely with the contractor.

“It is a pleasure that we have our local company to construct this packhouse,”Beck said.

He said this is despite the country’s economy going through a difficult time, not only due to covid, but with the November unrest pushing our revenue to a tight space.

“Therefore, the government policy is trying to keep investing more in economic activity and the productive sector and this is one of them.

“This is more-less rules out that direction that the government policy in supporting the rural area and increase more farmers to plant commercially.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Exodus Trade Development who won the bid to construct the packhouse, Jeremiah Fono’ota assured the Ministry of their commitment to build the infrastructure.

He said they have been engaged in working with other government sectors in building a few infrastructures, but this is the first time they are working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He said they have a committed team to complete the building within the time-frame.


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