Minister for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) Hon. Senley Levi Filualea is calling for collective efforts from stakeholders including government, private sectors and farmers towards the development of agriculture in the country.

Hon. Filualea was speaking during the World Food Day programme broadcasted live on SIBC on 16th October. The event also accorded with the 75th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.

“All stakeholders, including government, civil society, NGOs, development partners, private sector, and of course farmers must put our heads, our hearts, our hands, and resources together to effecting changes in agriculture development in order to meet the country’s economic needs, food security needs, peoples livelihoods, and to meeting the country’s commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” Hon. Minister Filualea said.

“…we all have a role to play to ensuring food systems are more resilient and robust. We need to make sure that our food systems grow a variety of food to nourish our growing population and sustain the planet, together.”

The Minister also took the opportunity and thanked all stakeholders in Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry and all “food-heroes” especially farmers who continue to ensure food sovereignty for the country.

On FAO assistance, Hon. Minister Filualea said FAO over the last four decades has been in one way or another provided assistance to Solomon Islands in human resource development, policy, natural resource management, food systems development, infrastructure and data capture and analysis.

“The ongoing programme based on the Country Programme Framework 2018 -2022 consist of both regional and national actions ranging from fisheries, forestry, environment, health, and agriculture. New programmes to address emerging issues are also being discussed with FAO for assistance in the near future,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the World Food Day theme, Hon. Minister Filualea said this year’s theme: Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together. reflects how Our Actions should determine our Future in terms of dealing with food security and food systems in general.

“Year 2020 has ushered in a new normal that requires all to take stock of how we do business in as far as food production is concerned.

“Each year the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) chose a theme that reflects the current situation affecting World Foods. For 2020 as you know the theme reflects the current status of the World Foods as impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The theme “Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together” is a request for global action by all including farmers and communities to make healthy choices in their food production systems, the governments to making policies and legal frameworks that supports sustainable food systems, and private business to invest more in resilient food systems and create employment in the face of the pandemic disruptions,” he said.

The Minister then thanked FAO for its continuous support to Solomon Islands with regards to food and nutrition security, environmental management, sustainable land management, sustainable forest management, sustainable fisheries, and livelihoods growth.

Source: MAL Media