The National Government is progressing ahead with the Bonale Pineapple processing plant in West Kwaio, Malaita province this year with discussions to set up a Cooperative Society Partnership model for parties to the project.
The partnership model, according to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration (MCILM), Riley Mesepitu is vital to coordinate and engage stakeholders during the implementation stage and the actual operation of the factory.
A Project Steering Committee is currently in place to ensure that stakeholders meet their targets.
“All technical reports and studies have been undertaken, except for the Environmental Impact Assessment report which is in the pipeline to be implemented,” Mesepitu said.
Responsible Government authorities will implement the EIA once it is completed.
In terms of progresses made so far, Mesepitu said the project’s architectural design and Bill of Quantity (BOQ) tender process was facilitated last year but halted due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
He added that with the government’s Policy Redirection programme in place, this year’s procurement would be made on architectural drawing and Bill of Quantity (BOQ) for the setup of the factory.
“While the architectural drawing and BOQ will be pursued, talks will continue with potential investors possibly under the SCALE project or through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement,” Mr. Mesepitu stated.
In 2016, Officers from MCILI, MAL and MDPAC proposed the Bonale pineapple factory following a feasibility study.
Cabinet approved the project in 2017 and since then a number of activities have taken place including a validation workshop in Auki, the completion of Land use model, business model, and water technical studies, completion of geotech and food technology studies.
The lead ministry in the project is Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration (MCILI) in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL), Ministry of National Planning and Development Coordination (MNPDC), the Malaita Provincial Government, the Bonale Land Trust Board and pineapple farmers of West Kwaio.