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Value Added Timber Association (VATA) now has a new office complex funded for by the Solomon Islands Government under its development budget.

“This is a facelift to the previous aged office building; and will be your home for the years to come.

“More importantly, it will cater to help you provide for the services that you render to our local forest resource owners who have involve in the timber industry a more efficient and reliable office space,” expresses Forestry Permanent Secretary, Dr Vaeno Vigulu during the official launching.

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PS Vigulu says this is one of the key components of the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) redirections policies under the forestry sector, that is to promote downstream processing.

This is exactly what is seen with the launching of this new office; with the seriousness to purchase this timber yard years ago. Purposely to bring together those locals involve in the sawmilling business to connect them with the international market, he adds.

“Over the years VATA has walked the path of challenges silently to this day and we have now witnessed its fruition with significant participation of landowners making this a successful story.”

The Permanent Secretary stressed that it is very important that such an initiative is well protected for our local forest resource owners; thus, training and monitoring conducted by Ministry of Forestry offices under Utilisation Division with other experts are vital to ensure marketing and exporting of timbers will maximize benefit to the resource owners.

“This is just the beginning of more to come, with plans to establish another similar timber yard at Noro for the resource owners at the western part of the country is also progressing.

“A downstream processing and added value policy is also being worked on to establish a clear pathway for all stakeholders who showed interest to participate in the timber industry or downstream processing value chain,” adds the Permanent Secretary.

He further adds that the Ministry is also working closely with SITPEA and PHAMA Plus project to try and improve our wood products to meet international standard and assist in finding market access for our timber products. These are all progressing well and will take some time as it needs thorough scrutiny of the processes and requirements to qualify us to the international standard, explains the Permanent Secretary.

VATA is a locally established entity that help and assist indigenous rural sawmill and timber operators in the country to export their timber products overseas. The organisation is legally supported by the Solomon Islands Government through the Ministry of Forestry and Research. – MoFR PRESS


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