Tarawa, Kiribati – The Government of Kiribati through its Ministry of Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives today signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on an initiative that will seek to foster income generation for poor rural households, improve the livelihoods, overall income and employment opportunities for the people of Kiribati.
The ‘Enhancing Inclusive Sustainable Economic Development through Coconut Sector Development’ Project is funded by IBSA or India, Brazil and South Africa and will be nationally executed by the Government of Kiribati with UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji as its implementing partner.
Ministry of Commerce, Industries and Cooperative Secretary, Mr Toani Takirua said, “A key priority in the National Development Plan is to enhance economic growth and reduce poverty through strategies. It’s been our plan to implement trade and investment initiatives, with the view to improve performance of productive sectors including coconut, fisheries, tourism and other sectors where we can work closely with other Pacific Island Countries.
He added, “Like other Pacific economies, the coconut sector is central to the livelihood of our people and this project will help support that and achieve national priorities as it fosters income generation to the country.”
The project will support the development of the Coconut Sector Strategy and finalise the roadmap to engage smallholder coconut farmers along the coconut value chain with identification of commercially viable value adding opportunities along the chain.
UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Country Director and Head of Regional Programme and Policy, Bakhodir Burkhanov said, “The project will tap into the experiences from other developing countries to help smallholder farmers and industry stakeholders to develop a clear roadmap for the coconut sector development in Kiribati. This South-South exchange will pursue value-added opportunities specifically at the producer and community level.
“By the end of the project, we want the smallholder coconut farmers and the associated community groups to diversify the production of coconut products and thereby achieve higher income earnings for the broader benefit of the national economy.”
The project will engage various stakeholders in its implementation, including relevant government ministries, the Kiribati Chamber of Commerce and Industry, rural farmers, producers, and producer association, women groups, youths, people living with disabilities and men engaged along the coconut value chain.
The project will be for 18 months beginning this month and seeks to contribute to the country’s effort toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 of Decent work and Economic Growth.
Setaita Tavanabola, Communications Associate, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, Suva; tel: +679 3227 523; email: firstname.lastname@example.org;