BY MYRNE LIVETT
DEPUTY Secretary Technical, Michael Ho’ota has admitted that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock officers are not able to reach out to rural communities in the country due to weak logistics support and not enough funding.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock’s Deputy Secretary Technical reiterated that issue of non-visitation of farmers experienced in the whole country not just in Guadalcanal alone, but basically because of resourcing issues like the lack of transport and not enough logistics which has become the longstanding obstacle to the delivery of services.
“We struggle with that because of resourcing aspect. Extension service is an expensive service and the government budget is not enough.
“When donor funding comes in, officers can perform well in their role but are slowed down after funding ceased,” Michael Ho’ota told Environment Media.
However, he continued to advise the rural farmers to utilize the Farmers’ Corner Radio Program at Solomon Island Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) on Mondays and to source out important information from the program.
“Or maybe if farmers can tell us what information they want us to provide, so that we can use the current medium to release information to them.
“It is very important in Agriculture development that farmers are informed on what is available and how to do things if there is assistance and what they can apply for.
“Some of the big activities coming up next year, like 2023 Pacific Games where farmers have the opportunity to produce food crops to feed participants of the Games.
“There are new crops that we try to develop into an Industry, like Cassava, Kava, Noni and Vanilla.”