SOLOMONS GOVERNMENT RESCUES COPRA INDUSTRY

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (March 2, 2001 - Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation/PINA Nius Online)---Finance Minister Snyder Rini has presented a SI$ 3 million (US$ 594,000) check to the Commodities Export and Marketing Authority (CEMA) to enable it to resume purchasing copra from producers.

CEMA stopped buying copra late last year due to financial difficulties.

Mr. Rini said the assistance indicates the importance government places on the industry.

The check is part of SI$ 10 million (US$ 2 million) the government expects to inject into CEMA to revive the copra industry.

He said the government in the next month will give CEMA SI$ 500,000 (US$ 99,000) a week.

Copra prices have reached an all time low, CEMA said.

Chairman Jackson Sunaone told SIBC that first grade copra costs SI$ .40 a kilo. Second grade copra costs SI$ .36 cents a kilo.

For additional reports from the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation.

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