23 Mar 2007

Vanilla export industry developing in Solomon Islands

9:07 am on 23 March 2007

Government, farmers, exporters and experts have joined forces to develop a high quality vanilla export industry in Solomon Islands.

A two-day workshop has brought together all stakeholders to hear regional Vanuatu vanilla expert Piero Bianchessi and develop a one year plan for Solomon Islands vanilla industry.

The Vanilla Project Manager Michael Max said the climate in Solomon Islands is good for vanilla, and it suits local farming systems.

In 1965, vanilla was imported from Hawaii and planted for experimental purposes and is selling for 20 US dollars a kilogram.

Mr Bianchessi said Vanuatu began commercial production 12 years ago and now produces two tones of vanilla for the international market.

The Vanilla Project is a partnership between the government, the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands-funded TSAP Program and CSP.