Workshop Held to Identify Progress in Agriculture

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SENIOR officers from the Ministry of Agriculture And Livestock have previously undergone a training workshop intended to identify policy gaps and opportunities in Solomon Islands agricultural sector.

The workshop was held at the Iron Bottom Sound Conference room on July 24.

Training facilitator, from the University of Sydney, Australia, Anne Marie told trainees that agriculture is very crucial to achieving sustainable development.

“It is really a critical sector to achieve the overarching objectives of the government of the Solomon Islands.

“The current objectives under the Solomon Islands Agriculture policy will finish this year, so there’s an opportunity to develop a new strategy that will move forward in line with future revised national agriculture development strategic plans and help achieve its objectives,” she added.

The Solomon Islands Agriculture and Livestock Sector Policy 2015-2019 have four (4) clear key goals; to address: (i) To achieve food sovereignty (ii) To improve livelihoods, (iii) To promote agriculture for import substitution, and (iv) To increase trade. The agricultural sector is the most important sector for the economy.

The workshop brought together people who are working across the different directorates and departments within the agriculture sector to focus on how these broad objectives could be more effectively achieved.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Solomon Islands National Policy Officer, Nicole Nonga said the workshop is intended to identify gaps and opportunities in the country’s agricultural sector so that the Ministry can further develop into the next five to six years.

“We need to know what has been done, where have they done, who did them, what activities are these stakeholders involved in.

The workshop also focuses on how to achieve proper economic growth, environmental sustainability, and nutrition. Food and nutrition security is another big issue that we have in the country.

“This is another problem that we have because we know that in the Solomon Islands, we have malnutrition problem, which is quite big.

“Therefore, we really need to look at areas such as; where can we work together, collaborate with other stakeholders, the ministries, so that we can improve the food and nutrition security in the country,” Nonga said.

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Lynda Wate
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