The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock will be using the former Tenaru field experiment station to develop for its farming activities.
Permanent Secretary Ethel Frances told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the Tenaru site will be developed to replace the site taken by the Pacific Games Facilities at the former ROC Farm at KGVI.
Ms. Frances said the development of the Tenaru land will be done under the pacific games development budget, a decision that did not go down well with the PAC.
The committee says this is concerning as this has put food security at risk as farmers no longer have access to farming materials and equipment to continue or expand their farming activities.
“My observation is that we talk but we are not setting our priorities right”, MP for West Are’are John Maneniaru said.
He said this is an urgent issue for the Ministry of Agriculture. Maneniaru says food security is very important for the people.
Meanwhile the permanent secretary said they have made an agreement with the National Hosting Authority (NHA).
“We have made a condition with NHA that they will meet the initial spending. They will do the road, do the fencing for the first 10 hectare to allow us to build our first facilities to move all our materials from the former ROC farm.
“There is also a discussion underway where five to six hectares will go to PRC because PRC wants to support. But the arrangement is that we want them to come and actually just support us but if there is anything that they would like to do there onward, then there is allocation for them there.
“At this stage we don’t know what they will come in for, but we know there will be technical support and we know that they will also want some land where they will come and do their activities there”, Ms. Frances said.
The initial MoU signed between PRC and Solomon Islands were in five areas:
1. Solomon Islands and China to coordinates all bilateral relationships
2. Economic and technical cooperation to support Solomon Islands economic development,
3. MOU on education to support the countries education sector,
4. Belt and road initiative, and
5. Guangdong Province cooperation support of Agriculture, Fisheries and Medical areas
Most of the development on the Tenaru land site for farming activities will be done under the game’s development budget. PRC will also be supporting the relocation as mentioned by the Permanent Secretary.