REINVESTMENT in the out-growers’ reforestation activities in the country is a way forward to pump in much needed revenue into the national economy and must be encouraged.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Gizo/Kolombangara Lanelle Tanangada highlighted this last month during Sine Die motion.
“The out grower project directly injects revenue into the local economy.
“I have witnessed men and women who harvested their out grower trees who actually earn more than most white collar jobs can offer.
“Isn’t that what a government budget should prioritise?
“Let us support investment that generate economic return,” she said.
She told parliament that she don’t ask for a ship for the past eight years because other constituencies need it more than her people.
“I don’t ask for machineries because there are constituencies that are far disadvantage in terms of road access than Gizo/Kolombangara.
“I ask for more seedling of trees and basic forest tools because that is what we do better in my constituency than others,” she said.
She said, that out-growers in Kolombangara generated at least $4million through their export earning every year.
“We are projecting that rural forest farmers can earn an average of at least SBD$10millon per year in the next 10 years,” she said.
The government will directly support these people for the first time this year, she added.
“Kolombangara Plantation tree is green gold. And the investment will never go wrong for the out growers,” she said.
MP Tanangada said, for the first time an allocation has been made in the Ministry of Forestry and Finance to reinvest into the out-growers in Kolombangara to engage in reforestation activities.
Kolombangara Landowners Trust Foundation (KLTF) is responsible for the outgrowers and reforestation programs.
“The budget for KLTF that appears in MFR and MoFT are not royalties for all the resources extracted out from Kolombangara.
“They are to reinvest for landowners’ reforestation activities. Out-growers in Kolombangara are right at the gateway to market,” she said.
Kolombangara Forest Plantation Limited (KFPL) has been harvesting and exporting directly overseas.
And now with more relax of covid 19 protocols in overseas, KPFL was expected to make its first shipment of logs last month.
By MOFFAT MAMU
Gizo News Bureau