BY ALFRED SASAKO
IF you were told that you could be earning up to $40 million a month, would you buy the story?
One former government minister didn’t.
He even ridiculed the story. “Pikpik lelebet,” the Minister allegedly shot back when asked to inspect what the MP for North West Guadalcanal, Bodo Dettke had started at his farm just outside King George VIth School in east Honiara.
Many would have said the same thing as the Minister did and understandably so.
How could you believe that one could rake in so much money in a month especially in a cash-strapped economy such as ours?
For those who did, Hon Dettke’s revolutionary message about Noni farming is taking his Constituency by storm. His parliamentary colleagues have been calling, urging him to teach them the trick.
This week, the former Forest Minister had just produced 40 tons of Noni juice for the international market.
Half the consignment (20 tons) is awaiting shipment to Brisbane later this week.
According to Francis Orodani who chaired the North West Guadalcanal Subsistence Farmers’ Association, the Noni farming revolution followed three successful workshops which were held at the Ginger Beach Retreat Centre in 2017.
A former Member of Parliament, Mr Orodani led an executive of 12 members.
He told Island Sun yesterday the three workshops attracted some 2, 500 participants from the Constituency.
“It is interesting to note that 70 per cent of the attendants were young women,” he said.
A core working group was formed thereafter and a constitution was endorsed.
“Visits to the Constituency in recent months have shown that people are very keen with the Noni crops. You could see nurseries all over the Constituency.
“Our target is 800 hectares to be planted in two years beginning this year.
Eight hundred hectares means 800 families and households to be earning from Noni crops soon,” Mr Orodani said.
“Our financial target is that by year 2021 these farmers and families should be generating $30 million to $40 million a month when the trees have reached bearing stage,” Mr Orodani said.
Hon Dettke said Noni farming has opened a whole new economic opportunity for rural farmers. “It is the gold mine for now and the future,” the businessman-turned-politician, said yesterday.