New shipping services to seven of Solomon Islands most remote Island groups begin this month.The Solomon Islands government has let franchises for five of the seven uneconomical shipping routes to its outer islands groups and expects to let franchises for the other two soon.
The first new service, to Sikaiana, begins on September 25 and the second to Ontong Java on September 30.
Solomon Islands Deputy-Director of Transport, Harry Rini, says franchises are a better way to manage government subsidies for shipping.
Mr Rini says clients will receive a reliable scheduled monthly service instead of the current sporadic service that operates only four times a year.
The new service is expected to boost the rural economy by allowing farmers and fishermen to get their produce to market.