THE Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) which aimed to address the negative economic fallout of the pandemic continues to make its impacts in the country.
Recently a local recipient of ESP from Marovo Lagoon has spoken highly of DCGA and its economic assistance to the local coconut industry through its Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) rollout.
Elton Sikala who received a funding of $17,500 from the ESP to purchase copra from farmers in Marovo said that the assistance received had enabled surrounding people to earn much needed cash.
“The ESP assistance has benefited many families in and around Bunikalo especially when their main source of income revolves around fish and copra.
“But fish is a very fragile product that requires cold storage and proper handling compared to copra,” he said.
Since he received the ESP assistance, he has already sold 185 bags of copra to SICPEL in Honiara which generated around $60,000.
“I will continue to purchase copra no matter what because it is our peoples livelihood and that is where we earn our income to support our families including paying of school fees”, Sikala said.
Meanwhile, Sikala has revealed that he is already in discussion with Islands Own Limited to adopt their dried desiccated coconut system.
“I would like to go into selling dried desiccated coconut because it is less laborious and revenue is better compared to copra”.
“End of last year I visited their factory and was convinced with their system”. Most importantly, women and kids can easily operate their system unlike copra where only very fit people can carry out such activity.
In the meantime, he will continue with copra and then venture into desiccated coconut.
Sikala said that while ESP is a very good initiative its success also depends on the honesty of each recipient.
“I urge all recipients to be honest with whatever amount of funding they received so that we can all grow our economy in our own spheres of influence.
“I am truly grateful to the SIG and our Member Parliament for Marovo Chachabule for recognizing us the rural copra farmers and buyers with the assistance,” he said.
By ANDREW FANASIA