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Casting a line for improved lives through tuna fishing

IFC and GAFSP Invest $10 million for Sustainable Fishing, New Jobs in the Solomon Islands


Located in the South Pacific region, the Solomon Islands’—a fragile situation country made more vulnerable through the effects of climate change—ranks among the poorest of the world. With 30 percent unemployment, and only a small role for large-scale agriculture given the scarcity of large areas of flat land, the nation depends heavily on its vibrant fisheries sector as a sustainable source of economic growth. The tuna industry accounts for 18% of the country’s GDP.


Supporting a more productive and resilient fisheries sector in the Solomon Islands’ has the potential to sustain livelihoods, improve nutrition, and increase government tax revenues; and long term, is expected to contribute to the security and equity of the country.

In 2017, IFC and GAFSP made an investment of $10 million to National Fisheries Developments Ltd (NFD) to support sustainable tuna production and employment in Solomon Islands. The new financing will help fund the purchase of new fishing vessels and ensure maintenance of the existing fishing fleet. IFC will also provide advisory services to promote best practices in environmental and social risk management.

The investment consists of a blended finance package of up to US $30 million for NFD, consisting of support from each IFC and GAFSP of US $15 million each. The funding will be made across three separate $10 million commitments and disbursements, the first of which was made in 2017, and will allow the purchase of up to three new fishing vessels and to expand NFD’s capacity by nearly 70%.


Solomon Islands



Focus area

  • Fragility

Supervising entity



GAFSP’s investment will increase job opportunities across the Solomon Islands

This project will create new jobs, especially for women, in the Solomon Islands. The addition of the new fishing vessel, which has already been purchased, will increase NFD’s catch volume by some 8,000 metric tons per year and will require 30 fishermen to operate the vessel. The increased processing throughput downstream at SolTuna, a tuna processor and NFD sister company at the same premises, will require about 200 new staff, mostly female. Considering the lack of private sector employment opportunities in Solomon Islands, this job creation at both companies is an important factor that will impact the local community. The additional two fishing vessels, planned to be purchased in FY18, are expected to have a similar impact on catch volume, processing throughput and job creation at NFD and SolTuna.

Increased food security across the Solomon Islands

Approximately 10-15% of NFD’s catch is used for domestic consumption. The additional tuna catch volume will be absorbed by the domestic market for consumption, either fueling more protein intake or replacing more expensive protein sources. In addition, local farmers and their families will be included in NFD & SolTuna’s internal supply chains as both companies will source agricultural produce and food products locally for their employees.

Improving the lives of women in the Solomon Islands

A gender diagnostic at SolTuna, NFD’s sister company, identified high rates of female worker absenteeism and attrition which have considerable financial consequences to workers. Thanks to this project, various trainings for women employees on financial literacy, household budgeting have helped these employees gain financial independence. The initiative is already showing initial positive, measurable effects.

Work with Us

Launched in 2010, the Global Agriculture & Food Security Program (GAFSP) represents a transformative approach to development aid that pools donor funds to make lasting improvements by supporting technically sound, country-led plans and sustainable, inclusive small- and medium-sized enterprises. The inaugural donors—Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada, the Republic of Korea, Spain, and the United States—were soon joined by Australia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. GAFSP’s donors work in partnership with recipients, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and their families. Millions of poor and vulnerable people around the world will directly benefit from GAFSP’s continued commitment and support. GAFSP looks to engage other donors and stakeholders in this important initiative.

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