Gizo/Kolombangara Constituency (GKC) office has invested a total of $20,000.00 in Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to support and boost Schulte’s Seafood Company operation.
This is part of an ongoing support of the constituency (GKC) under the leadership of their Member of Parliament Honourable Lanelle Tanangada who is also the Minister for the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHRD) towards in-coming generating activities and entrepreneurship within the constituency.
The financial assistance was officially handed over by the GKC Project Officer Wesley Nonikera to the founder of Schulte’s Fish Company, Schulte Maetoloa in Gizo, Western Province on the 30th of September, 2022.
Speaking during the small handover ceremony Mr. Maetoloa said he is humbled on behalf of the company to receive such assistance from the Government through the GKC Office.
He informed the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) Monitoring & Evaluation team that the company started in 2019 as ‘Schulte’s Fish Company’ but due to some interested partners they are thinking of changing the name in the near future.
“This is a timely and huge support for the company and it will help one of the main issues we are currently facing as the company continues to grow.
“For us, storage is our main problem. Currently we only have two storage equipment working at the moment with the third one under maintenance,” he added.
The constituency office previously supported the company with $50,000 and with this additional $20,000 the company is set to purchase its storage equipment by November this year 2022.
“If the company’s storage is set by November then our local fisherman in and around Gizo/Kolombangara will supply more fish because at the moment we have to control the supply due to our storage capacity,” Mr. Maetoloa added.
Besides the storage unit, Mr. Maetoloa said the company also ordered a proper fish smoking machine which will cater to producing quality smoked fish.
He further added that the constituency support will really boost their operations as they continue to work with local fishermen in and around Gizo.
“Our aim is to support our local fishermen meaning they will be our priority and main fish supplier which I believe will help boost our local economy and more specifically our constituency.
“The company also wants to see that our rural people also benefit from our company in terms of providing employment opportunities for our young skilled people in the constituency.
“We anticipated that in the near future this company will utilize our local fisherman with maximum benefits by giving them the avenue to help them meet their basic needs to support their families,” Mr. Maetoloa added.
In terms of the products, Schulte’s Fish Company’s produce started with smoked fish and later go into fish stake cuts and fish mince.
Mr. Maetoloa told the Monitoring & Evaluation team from MRD that feedback from the consumers was positive and they will continue to produce more for the local market.
Meanwhile, GKC Officer Nonikera said that the constituency office always believes in partnership to improve development in the rural area therefore Schulte’s Fish Company plays a vital role to achieve the rural development aspirations.
“The constituency is very pleased to support the company and hope that they will grow to support the constituency aspiration in terms of development in the rural areas within Gizo/Kolombangara constituency,” Nonikera said.
MRD Monitoring & Evaluation team leader and Principal Monitoring Officer Gabriel Manetiva also commended the Gizo/Kolombagara Constituency Office for their partnership with Schulte’s Fish Company in terms of development.
He said that MRD vision is to ensure all rural Solomon Islands become meaningfully participated in development activities to improve their social and economic livelihood.
MRD Monitoring & Evaluation team also visited a few other project recipients in communities outside Gizo town including Titiana and Nusa Baruku communities.
More stories about the impact of CDF funding will be published and made available in the media.
– MRD Press