“A total of SBD$124 million has been allocated towards the Immediate Recovery Measures, the second component under the Stimulus Package of SBD$309million.

“Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare during his speech at the launching of the package yesterday said Immediate Recovery Measures focuses on productive and resource sectors especially in investing in value-added products in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and tourism sectors.

“He said the objective of that component of the package is to prevent loss of income and employment in the economy and diversification of the export and economic base.

“He added those measures include supporting investment in value-added or production of targeted agriculture products including noni, kava, cassava, taro, copra, coconut oil, etc.

A total of $SBD 70million is allocated towards this initiative,” he said.

“PM Sogavare also announced that under that package, the government will introduce a special price or freight subsidies scheme for copra and cocoa for the next 3 to 6 months.

This is to ensure that people returning to their villages are invigorated and engaged in the production of copra and cocoa. In this regard, I call on all our coconut and cocoa plantation owners to start cleaning and produce more copra and cocoa,” he added.

“He added another SBD$44 million is allocated towards supporting and promoting investment in value-added or production of targeted products in forestry, fisheries, and tourism sectors.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the last portion of the initiative is the allocation of SBD$10 million towards rolling out of COVID-19 lending product for Small to Medium Enterprises by the Development Bank of Solomon Islands.

“It is also worth noting that a formal framework towards the implementation of these measures is being finalized and will be submitted for Cabinet approval within the next fortnight.

This is to ensure transparent and accountable disbursement of funds combined with effective monitoring to achieve the objective of the package,” he added.

Copyright @ 2020, Solomon Star News.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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