9 May 2007

Solomons PM keen to pursue downstream fish processing

8:50 am on 9 May 2007

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says the government will aggressively pursue down stream processing of its fish catch.

Mr Sogavare says the country earned 7 million U.S. dollars annually from its fishing industry but could earn 400 million dollars once it ventured into down stream processing.

He says the government will encourage small holder or tribal groups to venture commercial fishing and sell their catch to the local canning factory until more factories are established.

Mr Sogavare says finance to assist small holders will be made possible through its guarantee scheme to be facilitated by the commercial banks.

He says to start with, the government will take delivery of 50 pump boats from the Philippines with a view to increase it to 300.