Tuesday, 13 November 2007 5:20 PM

Govt Delegation Returns from Vanuatu

A government delegation has returned from a week-long visit to Vanuatu.

The delegation included Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Severino Nuaisi, his Permanent Secretary, Edward Kingmele, the Ministry's Undersecretary, Alfred Maesulia, and a lecturer from the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education.

Speaking to Solomon Times, Mr. Maesulia explained that the trip was to see Vanuatu's livestock industries.

He said the trip was mainly to learn the nature of Vanuatu's success in the cattle business, as part of the government's idea of starting a cattle project in the Solomons.

"A technical agreement was supposed to be signed but due to some complications, our government were not able to go ahead with the signing," Mr. Maesulia said.

He added that the government is hoping to sort out the complication in order for possible signing of the agreement early next year.

Mr. Maesulia revealed that the initiative is not confined to cattle itself but also kava planting "because Isabel Province is venturing into planting kava for business purposes".

"The trip is a give and take on both sides because Vanuatu wants to go into oil palm, so it was basically exchange of expertise between two regional partners," he said.

Mr. Maesulia explained that the inclusion of a SICHE lecturer is on the idea of setting a new institution within the country's college, similar to that of the Agriculture institution in Vanuatu where students are trained in the area and later venture into their own business.