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Potential Project to Help Kiribati

Grain Drive Project


Lack of land prevents large-scale agriculture.

Infertile soil constrain agricultural production and makes it difficult to grow fruit and vegetables.

Livestock and poultry productions is extremely difficult because there is a lack of naturally occurring animal feed in Kiribati.

Consequence of Problem

Most of the food needed for Kiribati is imported from overseas because agricultural production in Kiribati is very low. Read more...

Importing food from overseas is very expensive, can result in food shortages and cause food security issues. Read more...

Much of the imported food is nutritionally poor leading to poor health. This is a cause of the high number of diabetes, obesity and heart diseases cases in Kiribati. Read more...

Buying food from overseas is a continuing financial drain on Kiribati as this is money that leaves the country. Like a bank account, the money is continually "withdrawn" from the country and makes the country poorer. Without addressing this major issue Kiribati will remain in a negative spiral. Read more...

Food constraints and high cost food have a disproportionate impact on the poor because they spend a larger proportion of their income on food. Food price spikes also impact the poor substantially more than richer families. Read more...

How This Project Works

Initially, the project will only be beneficial to the inner Gilbert Islands district of Kiribati due to the logistics of servicing the other outer islands.

This project is based on importing grains into Kiribati. The rest of the food production occurs in Kiribati.

These grains are used to produce feed for the production of goats, chickens (meat and eggs), dairy cows and pigs.

The manure is composted to create a growing medium for fruits and vegetables. The Taiwan Technical Mission has shown that certain foods can be produced successfully in Kiribati under appropriate conditions using compost.

Low impact farming (many small areas farmed rather than a few large ones) will be utilised between coconut palms to minimise the impact on the environment. Some coconut palms may need to be trimmed/thinned to permit sunlight to enter the growing area. Due to this there will be relatively low mechanisation however, labour costs in Kiribati are low therefore this will not be a large cost burden. The low mechanisation is beneficial to economic growth as it aids employment.

The final step is the distribution of the food. The main distribution method will be by opening numerous large "restaurants" where the food is cooked for the people. This food will be provided at low cost for local people to eat in the restaurant (not to take away).

A cash revenue stream will be provided by having co-located stores selling uncooked produce directly to the public for home consumption.

The major cost for this project is purchasing and importing grain into Kiribati.

Expected Results of the Project

It should be noted that not all food types are capable of being grown in Kiribati - for instance, grains. However, the more food that is grown in Kiribati the cheaper the food will be and the larger the positive impact on the Kiribati economy.

The by-product of growing the animals is the manure which produces material that can be utilised to grow fruit and vegetables.

This project addresses food shortages and food security.

Food is less expensive to purchase in Kiribati. This is partly due to reduced transport costs. The other main reason for the cost decrease is that the grain is value added to create a more valuable food - Kiribati is providing a large component of the manufacturing process rather than paying another country to do this for them.

Food quality increases. Food variety and freshness improves. Eating more nutritious food improves health and well-being.

Making food low cost at the "restaurants" is important for assisting poor people to have a nutritional diet. This will improve their health by reducing diabetes, obesity and heart diseases.

A cash revenue stream is created by selling food for home consumption. This is targeted at "richer" families.

Jobs are created as people are needed to grow and distribute the food. This has a positive multiplier effect on the Kiribati economy.

Other local businesses may develop to service the creation and distribution of food thereby increasing the Kiribati economy.

The Kiribati balance of payments will improve because less food will be imported from overseas. This is import substitution and is important long term for Kiribati.

By taking a "raw" material such as grain and value adding to it by producing other food creates a multiplier effect on the Kiribati economy because the money stays in Kiribati rather than leaving the country.


Please let me know what you think or any ideas to improve the project.
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