Central Guadalcanal Constituency (CGC) office is in talks with Tupughotua Cocoa Plantation (TCP) in a bid to revive the company’s operation.
Owned by Agnes Pilopaso, TCP was once a thriving cocoa business back then but scaled down operations due to the Covid-19 upshot (impact).
On Monday 22 May 2022, Constituency Development Officer (CDO) Philip Naisa visited Agnes home at the former Solomon Islands Plantation Limited (SIPL) in Central Guadalcanal and discussed conceivable avenues that both sides can collaborate and explore towards resuscitating the company.
It was a fruitful discussion as both parties agreed to working collaboratively to revive the business.
According to Ms Pilopaso the majority of farmers who collaborated with her to form TCP are women.
From selling her cocoa dried and wet beans to local exporters, she made her first breakthrough in 2015 when she was recognized for her entrepreneurship capabilities by the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI), and presented with a “Women in Business Award”.
In 2016 Ms Pilopaso scooped another award during the Solomon Islands Cocoa and Chocolate Festival “SolChoc” which enabled her to get processing equipment to grow her business.
Ms Pilopaso company employs over 30 local people – both women and men and supplies high-quality dried cocoa beans to niche markets in Samoa and New Zealand but, those market opportunities were disrupted by the harsh effect of Covid-19.
TCP also produces cocoa powder, cocoa soap, chocolate, cocoa nips for cooking and baking, and cocoa tea for local markets.
CDO Naisa said revitalizing the business would empower rural women or farmers who are members of the corporate/business to participate in the economic development of our country.
“Providing support to projects or ventures that can enable our rural people to participate in meaningful economic agricultural activities such as cocoa, or other farming undertakings is paramount. Because it will encourage our rural dwellers to be self-reliant. Thus, Central Guadalcanal Constituency Office is more than committed to deliver and support this undertaking,” he said.
Ms Pilopasa then thanked CGC office for reaching out adding she is looking forward to working closely with the constituency office to ensure what discussed is accomplished for the benefit of rural people in the constituency.
Possible support will be made available through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) programme.
– MRD Press