BY JOHN HOUANIHAU
ATUNODA Pineapple Association of Guadalcanal province will be among some provinces in the country in charge of pineapple supplies during the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara.
The Association is based in Gheghede village, North East Guadalcanal Constituency is well known in Solomon Islands’ Guadalcanal Province for its pineapple harvests.
It’s a pride for the Guadalcanal province to be a local pineapple supplier to provide for the 2023 Pacific Games (PG2023), which will be held from 19th November to 2nd December 2023. In addition, there are more than a thousand expected to attend this year’s Pacific Games, be it as athletes, and teams.
Chairman of the Atunoda Pineapple Association Lyndon Tom told ENVIRONMENT MEDIA that the Association would provide and transport a total of 150,000 pineapple fruits throughout the two-week of sporting activities as part of the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) food assistance program for the PG2023.
“We were selected to give out 150,000 pineapples at PG2023. To prepare for the Games, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) will help our pineapple farmers with tools as well as in other areas from now until November.
“Gheghede is a community with between 80 and 100 residents, the majority of whom are pineapple producers.
“The majority of us grow pineapple. Our primary source of revenue is pineapple. For us, providing the PG2023 is a major deal since this is the first time since our founding that we will be participating in and providing a significant quantity of pineapple for such an event.
“We are extremely grateful for having recognized us, and we are excited for this significant event. Farmers have been working hard right now as we get ready for our duty,” Lyndon noted.
Likewise, Guadalcanal Province MAL Chief Extension Officer Joseph Wotomaru said both the Guadalcanal and Malaita are the two provinces chosen under the SIG Food assistance program as the primary suppliers of pineapple during the 2023 Pacific Games in November in Honiara.
“We gave them five hectors of pineapple for farmers in Gheghede village.
“Approximately 30,000–40,000 pineapple plants should be located within a hector, based on plant spacing and pineapple bottom measurements. According to our calculations, that should be close to 150,000 pineapples.
“However, we are still urging farmers to grow more since five hectares might not be enough to meet the demand for pineapple during the two-week athletic event.
“SIG through MAL and pertinent partners will cover labor costs such as trimming, and cleaning, plus essential tools and assistance for pineapple farmers o both provinces,” Joseph added.