This was revealed by the minister David Tome during the launching of new a coconut crushing mill in Mangakiki village, west Guadalcanal last week.
He said his ministry is very much concerned with the need to plant and re-plant more coconut trees in order to produce more copra and coconut oil.
The minister said this was because the government has seen an increase in the demand for coconut products.
“And this is putting more pressure on all stakeholders including government and private sector to work together in partnership with the rural farmers to develop the coconut industry.”
He assured farmers that his ministry has been providing assistance under the coconut industry support program to assist farmers in coconut re-planting and processing. Adding, he said similar assistance is also provided for cocoa farmers.
He said the government fully supports such development like establishing the crushing mill in the community level which in return will greatly improve the standard of living in the rural villages throughout the Solomon islands.
Minister Tome said the new coconut mill will empower rural farmers and small holders’ communities around Mangakiki to add value to coconut and bring more money to the community.
He said the spin-off cottages industries that require electricity can be created in the communities as a result of this program.
“Furniture and carpentry, tailoring and other many more small businesses can be developed in Mangakiki,” Tome said.
He described the development as a blessing to the community which will benefit them.
BY SOLOMON LOFANA