AS part of the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement’s (DCGA) redirection policy it will focus on developing the export sector.
A statement issued by the Prime Minister Press Secretariat said this plan will be achieved by investing heavily in the primary industries and downstream processing.
“This includes providing price and support subsidies to the main agricultural export crops such as copra and cocoa, promote kava export and embark on a national expansion program for noni production,” the statement said.
Prime Minister (PM) Manasseh Sogavare earlier this year announced, “DCGA will also, in partnership with our development partners will invest in economic infrastructures such as Biosecurity facilities to strengthen our capacity to export our agricultural raw products abroad.”
Economic infrastructures will include the construction of wharves, roads, and bridges in major agricultural production areas.
DCGA said it is fully committed to meet its financial obligations on major infrastructure development projects co-funded with donor partners.
“Developing our economic infrastructures will also focus on facilities needed for downstream processing to export value-added products,” he stated.
To name a few DCGA will aggressively invest in the export of value-added coconut products including oil, coconut flour, and coconut vinegar.
DCGA aims to cut copra export by half in 5 years’ time and increase the export of value-added coconut products instead.
According to the PM, some Members of Parliament have already ventured into coconut value-adding “by assisting their constituencies to establish processing centres for their coconut rather than copra, which is very labour intensive.”
Further, in relation to value addition, DCGA will ensure that the Kira Kira Cocoa Oil factory is completed in 2021, the Bonale pineapple factory is constructed in 2021 and a cassava flour mill is established on Guadalcanal for the export of cassava flour and livestock feed.
“While pursuing downstream processing, the government will continue to ensure that export of raw agricultural materials such as taro, cassava, and copra is not impeded,” the Prime Minister stated.
The PM further acknowledged that some of the development initiatives would require partnership with the private sector.
Hence, the government is formalizing the public-private partnership (PPP) approach as one of the many approaches that DCGA will utilize to implement its policy redirection.
In addition, under the policy redirection of the DCGA, engaging the youth of the country in all the major development initiatives is a priority.
“While DCGA is aware of the great need to bring in genuine investors, it also remains committed to protect its citizens with special attention to our indigenous communities and resource owners.”
DCGA is proposing an amendment to our constitution to protect the ownership of our resources.
This will include a temporary restriction on the sale of land to foreigners by individuals, protection of indigenous peoples ownership over their traditional lands, relook at the customary land tenure system, the introduction of the customary lands trust board, enacting provisions for Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) by ratifying and implementing the United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous People [UNDRIP (2007)].
The flagship policy of the DCGA is to pursue a holistic economic development with no one left behind.
The DCGA is fully committed to the successful delivery of its policy priorities in the interest of national peace and stability and economic advancement.