Three small enterprises have received value-adding equipment donated by the Australian Center for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR) last week.
Maraghoto Holdings Company, Sol Agro Ltd and Jedom Organic Foods received the equipment. These are local counterparts of a research project conducted by ACIAR.
The equipment was delivered through the Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration (MCILI).
Director of the Marketing and Exports Promotion Division (MEPD), Mr. Cornelius Donga, on behalf of the MCILI, handover the equipment to the Directors of the companies.
The equipment was made available under a four-year project on enhancing value-added products and environmental benefits from agroforestry systems in the Pacific, ending in July 2021.
ACIAR has been researching Ngali nuts in the Solomon Islands since 2008 specially to develop nut products for the domestic and international markets.
Some of the value-adding products developed have been Ngali Nut Body Oil, Baked Organic Ngali Nuts, Ngali Snacks and Cookies.
Donga highlighted that the program aligns with the current DCGA's policy redirection of creating and promoting more opportunities for business investment, employment and income generation in the rural areas.
“It is a Public-Private Partnership arrangement that targets downstream processing,” Donga stated.
The MEPD director added that the Ministry of Finance and Treasury’s (MoFT) support to facilitate the entry of the equipment to the Solomon Islands reflects the effort.
“I hope that the companies will utilize the equipment to improve their products' quality further to meet international standards. The development of the Ngali nut Industry is critical to providing an alternative source of income to Solomon Islands that dwell in the rural areas,” Cornelius Donga said.