Friday, 30 January 2009 12:21 PM

Government Commits to Supporting Local Farmers

The government of Solomon Islands commits to supporting the First Farmers Field School in Solomon Islands.

In his keynote address, Under Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Alfred Maesulia, said that the FFFS is one innovation where capacity of local farmers will be built with help from experts.

"Our farmers contribute so much to food security and to the economic growth of this country."

He highlighted that local farmers face many constraints in their effort to produce food and cash crops due to population pressure, climate change, pests and diseases, land degradation, to name a few.

This affects their production which in turn limits the supply to meet local demand.

Mr. Maesulia said farmers need new technology to bring about new varieties and new ideas to assist them in order to solve these problems and increase their production.

He said the school comes at the right time when the climatic conditions are changing, impacting largely on sweet potato production in Solomon Islands.

The importance of sweet potato as a staple food can now be seen in other parts of Solomon Islands.

Mr. Maesulia said the government through his ministry is committed to support the project and assist farmers in the near future by seeking market opportunities overseas for local sweet potato varieties.

The project is being funded by the Australian Center for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR) and implemented by the International Potato Center (CIP).

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