SOLOMONS CAPITAL RUNS LOW ON RICE

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Honiara residents high on rice staple

By Nigel Sandy HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Island Sun, Aug. 17, 2011) – Honiara City is again hit with a shortage of its most consumed food product rice. Reports reaching this paper said that the shortage of rice which started over the weekend had resulted in some Chinese shops increasing their prices.

[PIR editor's note: In 2010, the Solomon Islands government instituted policies to start at least two major commercial rice farms as part of the National Agriculture and Livestock Sector Policy. The hope is to decrease dependency on imports and stimulate local economic opportunities for farmers.]

A check with most shops around town confirmed that there was indeed a shortage of rice in most shops within the city.

Spokespersons from ABBA and QQQ Cooperation, who are two of the main rice importers within the country, confirmed to Island Sun yesterday that they are now without any rice stocks.

The spokespersons said that they had been without rice stocks since the weekend.

When asked about when they would be able to receive their new stocks, the spokespersons s said that they were still not sure as to when they will be able to receive their next rice imports.

Meanwhile, Solrice Company, another of the biggest rice importers in the country, confirmed to this paper that they had also run out of rice stocks.

The spokesperson from the company however said that their rice stocks have already arrived yesterday at the ports and they were in the process of clearing the imports before the actual distribution is done to its agents and shops around town.

The spokesperson said that their rice products should be able to hit the shops as of today or Wednesday.

Rice is one of the most consumed products in the country and in recent months the country has been facing an on-and off-situation in rice shortages.

[PIR editor's note: During the 2010 general election in the Solomon Islands, many tons of rice were shipped out to provinces by candidates, causing a shortage for most shops.]

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