SIPA says it wants to break the monopoly
SOLOMON Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) wants to break the monopoly on rice sales in the country.
This came after the country’s long time rice importer, Sol Rice has been dominating the market for years now.
Even the government’s effort to help local farmers plant rice to reduce importation did not bear fruit as people still resort to paying Sol Rice bags in the shops.
SIPA Director Commercial, Glyn Joshua said people felt that SIPA should not sell rice because it’s a State Owned Enterprise.
However, Mr Joshua said SIPA felt they should sell rice because the company belongs to Solomon Islanders.
“From statistics in the Ministry of Finance, Solomon Islanders spent around $550 million annually on rice,” he said.
“However, with the SIPA rice, Solomon Islanders will save $150 million to put back in the economy,” he added.
Mr Joshua said SIPA will try its best to reach the whole population of Solomon Islands with its rice in future.
As part of its promotion, he said SIPA will promote the rice in the media and train people in the provinces on the methods to cook the rice.
He said currently, SIPA wants to promote the rice by selling it to people returning to the provinces and those staying in Honiara.
Apart from that, it will send some rice down to Noro, Western province, for its sale as well.
By EDDIE OSIFELO