BY MAINE LIVETT in Gizo
SOLOMON ISLANDS will have a first ever biosecurity treatment facility by next year according to Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
PM Sogavare was speaking to the people of western province during 38TH second appointed day celebration in Gizo, Tuesday 14 December.
He said the facility will enable the country to export fruits and vegetables to overseas market. He said, under trade agreement with New Zealand and Australia who pegged in about AUD50 million dollars to assist the country with supply sites to address bio security issues, one of them is the biosecurity facility, to check quality of fruits and vegetables for export.
“So we move ahead to do that, we don’t want to wait, we will have this new bio-security facility installed next year, so it will enable us to export our fruits and vegetables,” Sogavare said.
Th Prime Minister also responded to Premier Mesepitu’s remarks during CEMA ground breaking event in Noro on Monday 13 December, to focus on fighting against coconut rhinoceros betel, Giant African snail, re-establishment of Agriculture research center, and investing more on agriculture and value adding.
“Thank you Premier for raising the very important issues, and I want to reassure you that the government is going further than that, by expanding the export base of Solomon Islands through our value adding programs.”
He said. He explains that in that way the country is, “actually diversifying from usual traditional export commodities and venture into down streaming which includes the revitalization of CEMA’s trading functions, and to increase export.
“The government is also sharing a very serious leadership in increasing annual budget in Agriculture, which is the back born of the country,” PM Sogavare said.
He said the increasing of budget allocation will allow the ministry of agriculture to fight against pests and disease.
“The broader policy is to maximize the benefits that accrue to our country from the utilization of our resources.”
Meanwhile, the PM also mentioned that, “feasibility study on the establishment of gold refinery in the country is on going and should be referred to the cabinet soon.”