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First five constituencies receive economic investment grants

Five constituencies were presented this week with the first part payment of funds under the ABG’s Constituency Economic Investment Program.

Teua, Terra, Taonita Tinputz, Lato and Lule constituencies were the first five constituencies to receive these funds after meeting all requirements and guidelines set under this ABG economic program.

The ABG Constituency Investment Program is the government’s initiative to provide opportunities to support local institutions and grassroots people to improve their ability to raise their own internal revenue and practice self-reliance, through their business ventures.

ABG Minister for Commerce, Trade, Industry and Economic Development, Hon. Patrick Nisira said that this is a result of two years of hard work by his Department, and it is an initiative aimed at closing the fiscal gap whilst improving the welfare of the people.

“The objective of this initiative is to revive the economy at the grassroots level, ward level and community government level,” he said.

Minister Nisira encouraged the constituency members to work closely with their community governments and ensure unity and greater success of the projects at the community level.

“The challenge now is to make this a successful project. We will give you the money, conduct training, at the same time we monitor progress of these projects in the constituencies.”

Out of the five constituencies, Teua and Taonita Tinputs will be focused on cocoa projects, while Terra Constituency in Central Bougainville will be focused on balsa production, Lule Constituency in South Bougainville will be focused on a broiler project and Lato Constituency will be focused on vanilla, cocoa and fresh produce.

Minister Nisira commended these five constituencies for being the first to access these investment funds and called on all other ABG members to follow the same compliance procedures to access these funds their constituencies.

The Constituency Economic Investment Program has a set of guidelines and conditions for funds to be expended responsibly, generating returns in the medium to long term period.

These mechanisms will frame the basis for the monitoring and evaluation of the use of the funds and assist the Department of Commerce, Trade, Industry and Economic Development, to oversee the successful implementation of the business ventures in the Program.

Applicants from Constituencies and Community governments must demonstrate to own cooperatives, or are engaged in SMEs and formal business entities (having registered with Investment Promotion Authority (IPA), and the Internal Revenue Commission).

The Business concepts that will be supported under this Program include:

  • Small scale down stream processing of Commodities (Cocoa and copra buying and marketing, processing);
  • Food security projects like commercial poultry, hatchery and food farming, coastal fisheries,
  • Whole sale of basic store goods, and
  • other business proposals (e.g., cultural and tourism products) will be considered if the proposals have a high return on investment.

Minister Nisira highlighted that the outcome of this Program will support the aspirations of the ABG’s six-point strategy for ‘Greater Economic Growth and Control’, with a special focus on building the potential of the local economy and empowering and protecting Bougainville’s indigenous businesses.

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