HAUHUI VILLAGE, MALAITA, SOLOMON ISLANDS
IN 2009, Raoisi Mica purchased his first Direct Micro Expelling Unit (DME), a small-scale mill for producing virgin coconut oil, from Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands. Mica lives in Hauhui, a rural community of roughly 800 people in southern Malaita.
The purchase of the DME was Mica’s first step to starting his business Coastal Oil, and it also marked a new beginning for Hauhui village.
Before the emergence of Mica’s Coastal Oil, opportunities for stable full-time work in Hauhui were hard to come by. A handful of men earned
small incomes selling copra, while some of the women occasionally sold produce in Auki, a three-hour drive away.
Today, with support from the Solomon Islands Rural Development Program (RDP), Mica’s Coastal Oil is changing the local economic landscape and
addressing some of Hahui’s most pressing challenges, including creating stable jobs.
Coastal Oil operates two mills producing 200 liters of virgin coconut oil per week, and a third unit is arriving early next year thanks to funding from RDP. Mica employs 20 people—75% of them women—from Hauhui to operate these mills, and he buys coconuts from 25 farmers in the area to
All 20 employees at the mill had no income prior to joining Coastal Oil, and out of the 25 farmers, only 5 previously enjoyed a stable income.
In addition to financing the new mill, which will arrive next year and create 10 more jobs, RDP has made a number of contributions aimed at supporting farming households in Hahui, including the provision of tools, transport assistance, workshops on farm management and personal
finance, and subsidies for planting thousands of new coconut trees on unused land.
I hope to work at the mill for a long time,said Onex, a 22 year old mother of two who has worked at Coastal Oil for 3 years.
At Mica’s encouragement, all Coastal Oil employees and farmers use a mobile banking system called Go Save, and everyone puts a portion of their monthly earnings into personal You Save accounts. Onex saves SI$100 of her income every month, a prospect she never dreamt of prior to joining Coastal Oil.
Coastal Oil has also given some of its employees a chance to quite literally change the way they live.
Joycelyn and Joe Kaiahui live down the road from Coastal Oil in Hauhui, and have worked for Mica for the last two years.
The money they earn at Coastal Oil enables them to pay their children’s school fees with ease, and it also provided the funds to move from a thatch hut into a permanent wooden home.
I feel very proud, I’m especially grateful for the funding and technical support from RDP, which has enabled Coastal Oil to help families like the Kaiahuis. The rural people of Solomon Islands need support.revealed Mica, reflecting on the impact Coastal Oil has had on Hauhui