Temotu man, John Richard Medai is skeptical about the government’s economic stimulus package.

Medai says the idea for the stimulus package is good if it reaches the right people. He says the government should go down and just support producers in rural areas.

"Most rural micro businesses like cocoa, copra buyers plus other types of business sectors are no longer in operation since they faced financial difficulties”, Medai says.

He says the government should not only call for applications from existing businesses but also help establish new businesses in the rural areas.

"The rural people have the potential with their resources, and it will work if the government uses this stimulus package to help rural dwellers start their own businesses”.

Medai currently runs a small business at his home village Namubou in Temotu. They purchase sea trochus. He started his business with only 10 thousand dollars.

Medai says government should waste no time in helping rural businesses and farmers as they are critical in expanding the country’s export base and recovery after Covid-19.

On its part the government has approved loan holidays and US$ 8.5 million worth of subsidies for copra and cocoa export products under the stimulus package. The government has also encouraged rural based farmers to apply for stimulus support and has carried out a nationwide awareness program on the stimulus support.

The stimulus package targeting rural areas aims to provide working capital or funding for existing local businesses, which includes farmers. It will also seek to help them meet post-harvest requirements to limit overheads and encourage growth.