Australian High Commission
Honiara
Solomon Islands

Australia funds Ehmunah Virgin Coconut Oil Processing Project in North Malaita

16 June 2017

                                Australia funds Ehmunah Virgin Coconut Oil Processing Project in North Malaita

The Ehmunah Virgin Coconut Oil Processing Project located in Diula, Maluu in North Malaita is up and running thanks to Australian Direct Aid Program funding.The DAP funding provided materials for the shed, the machines, and training by Kokonut Pacifica. Former Australian High Commissioner, Mr Andrew Byrne, participated in the ground-breaking ceremony of the Ehmunah Virgin Coconut Oil Processing Project in August last year.

The Ehmunah project is employing ten workers, both women and men, to work in the coconut-crushing mill. Employees have been trained on the DME machines, drying machine, and coconut oil extracting machine, including measurement of the oil product. The project provides much needed employment and economic growth opportunities for the community. “We are the only coconut buying project in Maluu and we are buying coconuts direct from farmers, which gives them much easier access to finance than them turning their coconut into copra and transporting to Auki or Honiara to be sold,” said Mr Billy Funusulia, project coordinator.

The Project will benefit more than 300 people in and around Maluu, especially women and young people residing in the Diula community, by providing employment and income for family needs. “The Australian Government is pleased to be able to support such a worthwhile project, one whose benefits go beyond the Diula community to other nearby coconut farmers,” said the Australian High Commissioner, Rod Brazier.

The Australian Government’s Direct Aid Program aims to improve livelihoods in some of Solomon Islands’ most remote and disadvantaged areas. Application forms can be collected from the Australian High Commission in Mud Alley or by emailing kennedy.folasi@dfat.gov.au.