CEMA launches new data management system for Solomon Islands exports

Solomon Islands cocoa grower and exporter Agnes Pilopaso. Approximately 25,000 smallholders are involved in cocoa production in the country.

The Commodities Export Marketing Authority (CEMA) launched a new data management system (DMS) today that will effectively monitor the production, flow and export of tree crops products from the Solomon Islands.

The system aims to improve the country’s tree crops sector industry access to market information and assist exporters and processors to better integrate existing supply chains, better expand their supply chains and to have a full picture of the export potential of their crops. 

The Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Plus Program (PHAMA Plus), an initiative supported by Australia and New Zealand, has been working with CEMA to develop a data management system suitable to its needs and sectors, particularly cocoa and coconut.

From left: Patterson Siliota – CEMA General Manager, Judith Reynolds – PHAMA Plus National Facilitator, Alison Purnell – Counsellor Economic DFAT , Belani Tekulu – CEMA Board Member, Alpha Kimata – CEMA Board Chairman, Duddley Longamei – CEMA Board Member and Jeffery Aihuna – CEMA Board Member during the launch of the new data management system in Honiara on Thursday 14 April 2022.

This involved data collection, mapping of data flow and comprehensive training on the new system for CEMA staff by local system developers Insight Pacific.

According to Chairman of CEMA Board Alpha Kimata, all non-commercially sensitive information will be publicly available, through a web-based log-in system, reducing the amount of time CEMA spends responding to requests.

“As a regulatory body, the principal function of CEMA is to promote the development of production, processing and export of prescribed commodities such as coconut and cocoa to secure efficient and regulated trade of high-quality commodities and to safeguard the interest of all actors in the value chain,” Mr Kimata said.

“The new system will improve CEMA’s capacity to monitor and regulate the quality and volume of Solomon Islands cocoa and coconut exports and enable sharing of useful information on consignment traceability, production data per province, pricing data and destinations.”

Cocoa and coconut are two of the largest agricultural exports for Solomon Islands and an important component of most rural livelihoods and employment in the country. Through this new system, farmers will benefit through improved pricing information and access to a greater range of potential buyers that arise from a more transparent and well-regulated sector, adding to economic growth and recovery post COVID-19.

“Australia is proud to support the new Data Management System for the Solomon Island Government regulatory body – CEMA through a partnership with the Australian PHAMA Plus Program. Together we are working to enhance information sharing and support exports of key Solomon Islands exports,” said Australian High Commission Solomon Islands Economic Counsellor Alison Purnell.

Australian High Commission Solomon Islands Economic Counsellor Alison Purnell.

“Nearly 40,000 rural households are involved in the coconut value chain and approximately 25,000 smallholders are involved in cocoa production, which demonstrates how the work of CEMA touches the livelihoods of so many Solomon Islanders. By supporting exports of these important commodities, we can work to improve these livelihoods and support employment for many more Solomon Islands.”

The majority of Solomon Islands cocoa and coconut products are exported into global commodity markets as undifferentiated raw commodities, generally at the lower end of prevailing world prices due to quality issues. However, in recent years cocoa and coconut exporters have significantly increased their capacity, with support from PHAMA Plus and other development partners. 

“PHAMA Plus is pleased to support CEMA on this initiative to address the lack of market information in the tree crops sectors on which to base investment decisions and accurately track changes in the sector,” PHAMA Plus Senior National Facilitator Peter Ramohia said.

“Overall, PHAMA Plus’ vision for the Solomon Islands tree crops sector is to expand production and improve quality to achieve higher prices in bulk commodity markets, and at the same time develop niche export markets for differentiated and speciality product lines.”


For more information, please contact National Market Access Facilitator (Solomon Islands) Judith Reynolds on j.reynolds@phamaplus.com.au



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