Thousands of farmers across Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands are set to benefit from a new SBD320,000 partnership between the Australian aid program and Solo Enviro Beautification (SEB).
As part of the Australian Government’s support to flood recovery efforts, SEB will grow 214, 000 vegetable seedlings for distribution to farmers affected by the recent disaster.
The seedlings will include tomatoes, eggplant, papaya, slippery cabbage, cucumber, capsicum and Chinese cabbage.
Australia’s High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Andrew Byrne, said the assistance will help farmers and their families replant food gardens and rebuild their livelihoods.
“This assistance will also help to alleviate food shortages due to crop damage and spoilage during the recent flooding on Guadalcanal”.
“Australia is proud to partner with SEB in this project, a local NGO which provides disadvantaged youth and women with employment and education opportunities”.
Tiffany Tena Tuhaika, SEB Executive Officer, said the partnership will provide skill development opportunities for the program’s trainee horticulturalists as well as local jobs.
“SEB’s 45 trainees will benefit from learning about mass propagation of seedlings”.
“The project will also provide full-time job opportunities for 5 female Solomon Islanders who have already graduated from the horticulture training program”.
The first of the seedlings will be ready for distribution next month. The Australian High Commission will coordinate delivery of the seedlings with Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Kastom Gaden Association and other NGO partners who are participating in the flood response. Rotary New Zealand have also donated AUD5000 towards costs for freight.
SEB currently hosts a Horticultural Advisor and Training Officer, though the Australian Volunteers for International Development program. The adviser is helping build the skills of SEB’s staff and improve their training programs and business operations.
Source: Press Release, Australian High Commission