The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) policy management team that is currently in Fiji on official engagements on Monday 14 November, 2022 visited the Grace Road Farm at Navua.
The delegation includes MRD Minister Honourable Duddley Kopu, his officials and the Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Fiji Joseph Ma’ahanua.
The team visited the farm’s rice milling/processing factory and its Hydroponic facility.
During the visit, Director of Grace Farm Group, Sung Jin Lee explained to the team how the farm has been developed and operated over the years and how it expanded its business operation in Fiji.
The delegation was impressed to hear success stories of the farm company and how it continues to expand its business operation in Fiji, a potential aspect that can be replicated to suite the Solomon Islands context especially on smaller scale for a start.
The team also discussed with Director Lee on areas of future potential engagement.
Permanent Secretary Dr. Samson Viulu said information and takeaways from the field visit will certainly be integrated into the reforms that MRD is undertaking particularly the first ever Solomon Islands Constituency Development (SICD) Policy that will lead towards reforming constituency developments in our rural areas.
The visit was a success as the delegation learned a lot from the challenges and success of the company.
The MRD delegation’s engagements in Fiji is an opportunity to explore opportunities and learn from the challenges and successes of rural development initiatives and models in Fiji mostly in the productive and resource sectors and essential services given that Fiji is ahead of Solomon Islands in terms of rural development.
With MRD embarking on the new SICD Policy, the mission is also an opportunity to establish and forge new partnership with organizations both public or private enterprise working in similar areas and also to customise Fiji’s other successful best practices in the productive and resource sectors towards advancing rural development in Solomon Islands.
PS Viulu acknowledged Grace farm group management for accepting the team’s request to visit their farm premises at Navua and also for the information shared.
He said the visit was primarily not only to see and witness how the farm operates and listen to its success stories, but the visit was purposely to learn on how Solomon Islands can be able to use Fiji’s best practices and successful models for development in the rural areas in Solomon Islands especially in the productive sector.
“So, our team’s visit is to see the operations here and to learn what is happening especially the production and operation processes and insights on what can be done on the potentials we have towards developing similar undertaking, not to the magnitude that Grace Farm is operating at but at least we can work on some aspects that workable for us in the Solomon Islands,” he said.
Director of Grace Farm Group, Sung Jin Lee thanked the Solomon Islands delegation for the visit.
She hopes the visit will further strengthen the relationship between Solomon Islands and Fiji especially Grace Farm company and also form new potential areas of partnership between both countries in the near future.
The Grace Road Group’s businesses include agriculture and food processing, construction, restaurant and food, retail, hotel and resort and renewable energy.
The company is own by a Korean.
– MRD Press