Plantation owners left in the dark about ESP - Solomon Star News

Plantation owners left in the dark about ESP

11 March 2021
Kolombangara island. [Photo: Google Maps]

OWNERS of large and small plantations, among other resource owners on Kolombangara say they are in the dark about the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) and the big picture that everyone was so hyped up about in the last 12 months.

A local by the name of Rodney Muse spoke about a shared confusion by many locals living in South Kolombangara, who are simply asking “what is happening?”

“We are not looking for a free hand out, but after all the hypes about how the ESP is to be a boost to the economy by assisting local businesses to maintain or create local markets, we are finding ourselves left in the dark,” Mr. Muse told Solomon Star this week.

“Many resource owners continue to produce a minimal output of products in copra for example, because of the unrealistic difference between expense and profits.”

He said if the issue of the collection could be resolved by ESP recipients or other authorities, then this alone would be a great boost in encouraging plantation and other resource owners to get back into producing agricultural products.

“While pockets of small-scale plantations are scattered around Kolombangara, collectively they create a massive resource not properly utilized.”

Kolobangara is an island that can boast of having an abundance of resources enhanced by its natural rivers and forests but to date, only logging has dominated the scene.

“It is clear we have the resources, but now wonder how well we are going to maximize the potential of these resources remains the question that confronts us.”

Gizo News Bureau