Nearly two thousand people witness the ground breaking ceremony for the Malaita Palm Oil project held at the weekend.

A Government high level delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister, Fred Fono took part in the ground breaking ceremony held at Fera'abu.

The Government official delegation also included the Parliamentary Leader of Opposition Manasseh Sogavare and Premier of Malaita Province, Riahard Na'amo Irosaea.

Commissioner of lands officially signed and presented perpetual Estate titles of lands to trustees of tribal groups representing more than four thousand hectares already secured for palm oil development.

Twenty five land owning tribal groups were represented during the ceremony.

The occasion was marked by feasting and traditional dancing.

"Government fully supports the initiative to develop palm oil in the Auluta Basin of Malaita Province," Deputy Prime Minister, Fred Fono said.

Mr Fono congratulated resource owners and chiefs of East Fataleka and East Kwara'ae for taking the lead in allowing their land for the proposed Auluta Basin Palm Oil project.

He says the achievement so far in registering their tribal lands and taking ownership of perpetual titles "marks a breakthrough in paving the way for economic development in Malaita."

Mr Fono says disputes over landownership has always been a stumbling block for any major development in Malaita.

Mr Fono says what transpires from the landowners of East Fataleka and East Kwara'ae in the Auluta basin sets a shinning example of what could be achieved if people work together.

The Deputy Prime Minister says the proposed Auluta Palm Oil Project has been supported by successive governments including the current C-NURA government of the day.

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