Revitalization of CEMA is an important milestone: PM

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PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare says the Government is conscious that the revitalization of CEMA is an important milestone.

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The Prime Minister highlighted in his speech during the launching of the CEMA “Revitalization and Recapitalization Strategy”.

The launching on Monday this week also marks the formal declaration and reinstatement of CEMA’s trading and commercial functions.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the Government is very keen as indicated in its key policy outcomes to revive CEMA to support commodity-marketing exports of key commodities such as coconut, cocoa and oil palm.

“CEMA will also drive exports of potential commercial commodities such as coffee, noni, vanilla, pineapple, lentils and others,” he said.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the revival of CEMA is an important undertaking to ensure that rural farmers and villagers have access to daily income and employment.

The Prime Minister said in order to achieve this priority policy objective, the Government has established the CEMA Cabinet sub-committee to review the previous CEMA Baseline Report recommendations and provide a revitalization strategic pathway for the Cabinet endorsement and approval.

He said this strategy will form the bases for outlining the expansion of CEMA functions to revive its trading and commercial function.

“It is also envisaged that the scope of commodities under schedule 1 of the CEMA Act will be expanded to include other commodities such as kava, noni, spices and aquaculture products,” he said.

The Prime Minister said this strategy highlights the CEMA proposed operations and performance, business model and value chain, the negative impact of the liberalization policy on CEMA performance and recommendations since 2002 until today.

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Furthermore, he said the report also helps in identifying a realistic Revitalization Pathway for CEMA.

“This strategy aims to motivate rural farmers to produce quality commodities for domestic and export markets,” he said.

Prime Minister Sogavare said Cabinet has endorsed and approved the revitalization and recapitalization strategy report submitted by the Cabinet sub-committee last week, and is now allocating financial and human resources to implement the strategy with the CEMA Board and Management by June/July 2021.

He said this would enable CEMA to restart its trading activities in purchasing, selling and exporting our local commodities by November 2021.

“The CEMA revitalization and recapitalization strategy will be for a seven-year period starting from 2021 to 2027 and it will require a total capital investment of SBD$77m by the Government that will be implemented in 3 phases over the seven-year period,” he said.

The Prime Minister said implementation will be done by the CEMA Board and Management with the support of the Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration, Ministry of Agriculture and Lands and Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

“These are challenging but exciting times as well. The global pandemic has tested our resolve and we have continued to demonstrate our resilience. The revitalization of CEMA is a testament of our resilience in the face of this pandemic,” the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the DCGA will ensure that CEMA is viable and expands its operation to all our rural farmers throughout our country.

“This government will continue to deliver on its policies by serving our people,” he said.

ENDS//

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