(From right to left) Tanuvasa Semy Siakimotu, Biosecurity and Environmental Safeguard Adviser at PHAMA Plus; Atenasi Ata, SICCI CEO; John Ta’amora, SICCI Advocacy Officer; Patrick, Finance Officer PHAMA Plus Honiara office; Nelson Kere, SICCI Executive Officer and Freddie Namo, National Market Systems Facilitator at the PHAMA Plus Honiara office.

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) remains committed to working together with Pacific Horticulture Agriculture Market Access (PHAMA Plus) recognizing that Kava is an emerging cash crop in Solomon Islands that requires responsive and sustained support by stakeholders.

SICCI through its Export Industry Development Department has been working closely with PHAMA Plus to enhance the development of Industry Working Groups (IWGs) into representative and sustainable industry bodies. These IWGs are instrumental to bring together the government and the private sector to further the interests of the industries.

Currently there are four (4) industry working groups; Cocoa, Coconut, Handicraft, and Solomon Islands Timber Processors and Exporters Association (SITPEA) supported by the Chamber through its Export Industry Development department, Mr Nelson Kere the Executive Officer for the Chamber explains.

“The Chamber has fostered a strong relationship with all partners through these IWGs. We have had a slight pause in that facilitative support as the Chamber looks for a new Export Industry Development Officer to replace Mr John Paul Alasia the former EIDO.”

“We hope to finalise recruitment and have orientation with the IWGs and partners by end of the year.”

“In the meantime, it is encouraging to note that important Work continues to be carried out with PHAMA support in developing a National Kava Standard which will enhance local growers’ chances to tap into overseas markets,” Mr Kere said.

Agriculture is an important sector for the Solomon Islands National Economy. It provides for and sustains 85 percent of the rural population with food crops, cash crops and livestock for their daily livelihoods, food and social security, according to the Solomon Islands Agriculture Policy (2015-2019).

As such, it is important for further development to take place and opportunities to be made use of.

About the author

Philip Lilomo is the Chamber's Media & Communications Officer. Philip writes most of the Chamber's media releases. He also manages the website contents, designs the Chamber's monthly newsletter, brochures and maintains the organisation's visual branding. 

Philip can be contacted on email: media@solomonchamber.com.sb 

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