Copra and cocoa farmers, buyers and exporters have celebrated the “renaming and branding” of the former Commodities Export Marketing Authority (CEMA) in Honiara Wednesday this week which signals increased optimism for the future of the industry.
The renaming of CEMA to “Solomon Commodities” with the brand “Solomon Is. Organic” was launched by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and the Minister of Commerce, Frederick Kologeto during a thrilling ceremony at the Pacific Casino Hotel which is vital towards the re-emergence and re-positioning of Solomon Commodities on both the domestic and international Market scenes.
The renaming now formalized “Solomon Commodities” as the new trading name replacing the former CEMA which will purchase, sell and export traditional commodities such as cocoa and copra and other emerging commodities such as kava, noni, cassava, timber and marine products.
Sogavare said “Solomon Commodities” will now ensure that the new look CEMA builds its reputation both locally and internationally and foremost to penetrate into emerging markets while at the same time strengthen its existing markets.
The launch on Wednesday marked twelve months and two days since the CEMA Revitalization and Recapitalization Strategy 2021 – 2027 report was officially launched and handed to Sogavare last year on 31 May 2021.
For the last 12 months, the Solomon Commodities Board and Management have been working tirelessly to ensure the 7 years revitalization and recapitalization programme is implemented, which already culminated into the launching of the Noro Refinery in December 2021 and the recent launching of the Pakera Buying Center in Makira in May 2022 with the latest being the CEMA renaming and branding this week.
These buying centres will be the commodities economic hubs in the Provinces aimed at bringing markets closer to farmers.
The ongoing progresses are vital towards enabling Solomon Commodities to re-start purchasing, selling and exporting of local commodities, whilst at the same time progressing to establish refineries for downstream processing of commodities for both the domestic and export markets.
“The Government is fully aware that 85% of our people lives in the rural villages, thus it is vital to physically re-establish Solomon Commodities trading activities in the rural areas, and foremost to reach out to our remote farmers and villagers in the Provinces,” Sogavare said.
“It has been my dream to bring tangible development to all our rural farmers and villagers and the launching not only marks a significant accomplishment by the DCGA but will see the beginning of another era, in the re-establishment of your Government’s physical presence in the Provinces and on the “international market”, in particular to reposition “Solomon Commodities” on the international scene,” Sogavare said.
The DCGA is determined in its continuous efforts to drive increasing gross domestic production of our key commodities for export markets. In turn, this will contribute immensely towards improving the lives of rural people and their wellbeing as the Government is committed to this cause, and will not allow other obstacles to get in the way of producing this specific outcome.