|Overview : |
As a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), Solomon Islands experiences significant development challenges associated with the small size and remoteness of major markets, compounded by inadequate domestic infrastructure. The country is estimated to graduate from its Least Developed Country (LDC) status in 2024, following the development of accessing specific concessional finance instruments and preferential market access for exports.
The UNDP Country Office in Solomon Islands is implementing a range of projects supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP has the mandate to work in partnership with governments and institutions within countries to achieve the 2030 agenda, which is the realisation of the SDGs. These are SDG 1 on no poverty, SDG 5 on gender equality, SDG 8 on decent work and economic growth, SDG 9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure, SDG 10 on reduced inequality; SDG 12 on responsible consumption and production, and SDG 17 on partnerships to achieve the goals.
The coconut sector is one of the fastest-growing in Solomon Islands. Its current focus is on the shell contents, producing oils, soaps, and copra. Despite the contribution of coconut to export earnings and income for the country, the sector is constrained by a limited variety of products, with low-income revenue to farmers due to overdependence on primary coconut products. In addition, coconut husk is a by-product that is currently underutilized.
Solomon Islands Government developed its national Coconut Sector Strategy, anchored on the vision of having a modernized coconut industry that can contribute significantly to national peace, unity and economic development for prosperity Solomon Islanders. The opportunity to enhance economic growth, modernization, and prosperity depends on developing the key sectors where Solomon Islands has a comparative advantage. Husk utilisation for coir and pith is a national priority within Solomon Islands Coconut Sector Strategy. It is identified as supporting industrialisation, job creation and entering rapidly expanding international markets. There is increased global demand for coir-derived products of natural geotextiles (erosion-control materials) and cordage in the context of rising awareness of natural fibres' health and environmental benefits and addressing climate change.
Considering the above, the UNDP seeks an experienced, efficient and committed coconut expert with expertise in coconut husk utilisation, value chain analysis of coir and coco-pith and downstream products, processing technologies and proven experience in undertaking feasibility studies to inform the technical design of coconut husk projects.