Cocoa farmers briefed how to obtain export licence
CLOSE to forty local cocoa farmers were instructed on the procedures to obtaining cocoa export licence.
Chief Inspector of Commodities Export Marketing Authority (CEMA) took time to brief the cocoa farmers.
In his presentation Mr Patteson Siliota said process to obtain a cocoa export licence is easy if farmers execute all the requirements stated under CEMA export regulation.
He told farmers that the first requirement is quality, this includes quality assurance and standard grading recognition.
Mr Siliota adds that quality standard and compliance are also critical in making sure products are of best quality to meet buyers’ expectation.
He stressed that other follow-up requirements are pest control and proper storage of cocoa beans.
“But! You need to execute these important step before you apply for export license. First you must have a Business license to certify that your business is legally registered. If a foreigner involve, there must be an agreement making sure locals obtain bigger share.
“Second, you must have at least 10 hectors of cocoa farm with verification from Ministry of Agriculture.
“Third, farmers must have registered processing standard facilities and also finance capacity.
“Fourth, farmers must prove with documents their purchasing within 12 months.
“Fifth, Farmers must be proven without to supply 15 metric tons of cocoa monthly,” Mr Siliota said.
He explained that the regulations and processes are based very much on Cocoa Amendment Regulation 2013.
Mr Siliota further stated that other requirement are also enforced after local farmers obtain their export licence.
He said responsible authorities like CEMA will assess all cocoa export licence holders with other follow-up requirement making sure the licence holders fully execute their operation.
Mr Siliota stressed that cooperation between CEMA and export licence holders in terms of sharing statistics as well as financial reports is important.
He adds that export license holders must also abide by other related laws such as Customs and Exercise, Central Bank of Solomon Islands and Quarantine.
Mr Siliota said licence fees is SBD5,000 per year and is renewable.
The awareness programme is part of weeklong Solomon Islands Chocolate Week which is expected to conclude on Friday.