The Cabinet Sub-Committee overseeing the review of the Commodities Export and Marketing Authority (CEMA) has begun consultations with key stakeholders in the commodities industry.
A Sub-Committee team last Friday visited the Solomon Islands Copra Exporters Head Office in Honiara where they held consultations with the General Manager.
CEMA is an important SOE and has played a critical role in supporting copra and cocoa farmers throughout Solomon Islands to market and export their products overseas.
In late 1990s and early 2000, a liberalization policy resulted in CEMA shedding its marketing responsibility and confined its business only as a regulator.
This has caused financial problems for CEMA and coupled with several litigation cases with the principals of RIPEL, its business is now curtailed.
The Subcommittee has been mandated to strengthen CEMA and to set it on a path of growth that will once again allow it to perform the functions that it once performed.
Cabinet will be asked to approve that the Government assume the litigation cases and allow CEMA to concentrate on its redevelopment.
The Committee has already held four consultations with key stakeholders in CEMA which were aimed at gathering relevant information and data on the current status of the copra industry.
Copra and Cocoa farmers and exporters are key stakeholders in this consultation process and their views and experiences are essential to help the Government find a better way forward when it attempts to reform CEMA.
Information collected during the consultation process will be collated into a report for Cabinet consideration.
Consultations will be taken to the provinces in coming weeks, particularly, to regions where the copra industry is most active.
-Gov’t Communication Unit