BY AGNES MENANOPO
THE Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) and the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT) have recently launched the 2017 National Agriculture Survey Report (NAS).
The launching was held on November 14 at the Mendana Hotel, Honiara.
A similar document was initially launched in the 1970s, and this substantial survey report marks a milestone in available data to move the agriculture sector of Solomon Islands forward.
Director of Extension for MAL, Michael Ho’ota said the launching come at the right time as the Ministry is currently developing the agriculture sector strategy 2020-2030.
“The successful implementation of this survey is attributed to good leadership, sound advice and the collaborative effort of all stakeholders to the survey.
“This marks a milestone in available data to move the agriculture sector forward,” Ho’ota said.
The report provides a basis from which evidence-based plans and projects can be developed. Thus, the findings of the survey target households and farm holdings undertaken from July to October 2017 in all nine provinces, including Honiara,” Ho’ota said.
Data collected are primarily on the agriculture sector, and economic activities such as livestock, forestry, fisheries and other supplementary information including the effects of climate change, natural disasters and including the importance, potentials, challenges, and opportunities that are out there to move the agriculture sector forward.
Minister for MoFT, Hon. Harry Kuma said with new evidence and indicators from the NAS 2017, the nation can be assured of the directions that will immerge out of the roadmap for agriculture into the medium-to-long term.
“The pathway for agriculture looks brighter today and I anticipate that the agriculture sector can show forth its economic potential, and thus claim back its reputation as the backbone of our economy,” Kuma said.
He said the report is timely and will go a long way in supporting not only our agriculture plans and other sector plans such as the national development strategy (NDS) as well as in supporting our budgetary policy, among others.
Mr. Ho’ota and Minister Kuma acknowledged key development partners and donors including UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), South Pacific Community (SPC), the World Bank and the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for the successful implementation of the survey and the launching of the public document.