DCGA to focus on export sector  - Solomon Star News

DCGA to focus on export sector 

11 February 2021

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.