Caption: Sani Naidu (left) of Bula Island Food Supplies Ltd – an IACT-assisted enterprise – and Sanfred Smith (right),IACT’s Export Production Officer, visit one of the company’s supplier farms. Photo: SUPPLIED.
Wednesday 22 May 2013, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva – The European Union-funded Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) Project will expand its support to several additional Pacific enterprises that require assistance in becoming export-oriented businesses, able to consistently supply overseas markets with competitive agriculture, forestry, aquaculture and livestock products.
The project, which is implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, is expecting to identify another ten to twelve enterprises, taking the total number of enterprises it will be working with to around 40.
The inclusion of additional enterprises, according to IACT Team Leader, Samu Turagacati, will not only benefit the commercial ventures, but also create employment opportunities and improve incomes for Pacific people.
‘This will eventually help raise the standard of living of our Pacific communities,’ he added.
IACT received expressions of interest from enterprises wishing to apply for technical assistance to strengthen their productive export capacity. Based on the applications, the IACT team undertakes a pre-screening process to classify the enterprises into the three categories:
- exporting enterprises;
- export-ready enterprises; and
- emerging enterprises with a clear supply chain vision leading to exports in the future.
Turagacati says that the team is now in the process of carrying out due diligence visits to the enterprises that have applied in order to gather more information about their operations.
He said that the enterprises that fail to qualify exit the process, while the successful applications are presented to the technical advisory group for final scrutiny and decision. The group comprises individuals with expertise in financial planning, marketing, economics, and in managing agriculture, forestry, aquaculture and livestock enterprises.
‘Once a decision is made by the group, the names of successful enterprises are conveyed to IACT, which is the starting point for IACT intervention in terms of enterprise development,’ he added.
The new enterprises will be finalised in the upcoming technical advisory group meeting in June.
Currently, IACT is assisting 28 enterprises in eight Pacific members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.