Hard work and sheer determination paid off for Gwango Community Farmers Association (GCFA) at Suafa Bay, North Malaita after they received a cheque worth of $4,216.80 from the sale of 175.7 litres (3 barrels) of virgin coconut oil to Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands (KPSI) recently.
GCFA Secretary, Michael Samo said the cheque payment was the first of its kind for the association to have received after its formation in 2013 and the establishment of its Direct Micro Expelling (DME) Coconut Crushing Mill project in 2019.
“It’s a big achievement for GCFA,” Mr. Samo said.
Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) funded the project.
“The money was worth the hard work and efforts that we put together to ensure we achievement our goals – one of which is to earn money from the government funded project to keep the association operating and also help community members to improve their living standard and livelihood,” Mr. Samo added.
However, Mr. Samo said operating a business or initiating such community association especially in the rural areas is really challenging thus requires determination and patience.
“Capital (money) is the real issue. However, with the little funds that we acquired from few organised community fundraisings enable us to get the project this far and thus, it is now bearing fruit,” he said.
GCFA was formed in 2013 and registered at the Company Haus.
It comprised of communities within the vicinity of Gwango village, Suafa Bay, North Malaita.
It aimed at engaging community members in all works of live to participant in such income generating initiative to support their families and at the same time improve their standard of living and promotes peace and harmony within the community.
GCFA received the project from MAL in 2016.
Implementation process was a bit slow then, however, the community determined and completed the construction of the Direct Micro Expelling (DME) Coconut Crushing Mill building in July 2019, which was then handed over to the community by the then Director (Acting) of MAL, Planning and Land Use Management Department Mr. Simon Iro Sefa.
Mr. Samo on behalf of GCFA and members, thanked the government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and stakeholders for recognising their needs and for the support rendered toward the project.
“This is the first step towards success and the community members really valued this as a great opportunity for them to excel in life,” Mr. Samo articulated.
Media Release from MAL Information/Media Unit