The first of its kind and a historic achievement after a community-run processing plant that will develop commodities into products was officially opened by three Cabinet Ministers – Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, the Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy, the Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, the Hon. Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, and the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, the Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa in Nabulini, Wainibuka yesterday.
In officiating at the event, the Hon. Minister Dr Reddy said the Nabulini Processing Centre would create a market for farmers and growers whose products would be processed at the newly opened facility.
“We don’t want the entire community to take the entire produce to another place, or sell it to a middleman who will process it, or go and process it somewhere else,” he said.
“We have de-centralised this facility through the Ministry of Trade, through the Food and Agriculture Organisation – we have up-skilled you, we have trained you. This will become a model facility so you can process your products right here at your doorstep.”
Dr Reddy said Government was considering using the Nabulini model to replicate to other parts of the country to ensure surplus was created in order to create new products such as cassava flour, cassava fries, or cassava chips.
“There’s no end to product development. It requires a little bit of thinking outside the box.”
The Minister said his Ministry was keen to partner with others, like FAO; Ministry of Health for certification of products; Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport; and Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation to assist women and children in villages find employment in agribusiness.
He thanked the elders of the Nabulini Village for motivating the youths. He also thanked the mothers who came in numbers to show strength and motivation for the youths to expand this project and carry on.
“I want to assure you, on behalf of Government, the Hon. Prime Minister – our Ministry will continue to support you to also expand.”