The 50 Members of Parliament (MPs) are being urged to turn their focus on the agriculture and fisheries sector for the next decade, to help boost the economy of the country.
Outspoken Honiara City Councillor for Vura Ward, Reginald Ngati highlighted this following the successful launch of the first ever Solomon Islands 10 years Agriculture Growth Strategy and Investment Plan (AGSIP) 2021-2030, this week.
“It’s time to throw away the idea of assisting people with solar panels, water tanks, and roofing irons and focus on economic development.
“Let’s invest all the constituency funding into agriculture and fisheries,” he said.
Cr Ngati said he wants to see the national government drawing up a policy that focuses on agriculture and fisheries as in reality, this is what we have been missing in all the efforts to improve our economy and it has been lost for some time now.
“To the 50 MPs, let’s redirect our funding into these sectors, fisheries and agriculture alone for the next 5-6 years and we will be surprised of the outcome.
“You have been building houses and lighting them up for people over the last decade but they are sleeping with the potential of agriculture and fisheries in them and still struggling to pay for their children’s school fees and other basic needs.”
Cr Ngati said if all the resources and constituency funding are invested into agriculture and fisheries, no one will approach the constituency offices for school fees and other needs.
“…..this is because they are growing it, harvesting it and the government has a structure in place to bring their produces to the market either to sell it domestically or export them globally.
“By doing this, people will be very happy at the end of the day,” the Councillor said.
Cr Ngati added, whether the country realised it or not, Solomon Islands has been breeding a lot of lazy people in its societies, sitting down idol and expecting the government through the MPs to feed them.
“That is one of the norms that is killing the potential inside of our people.
“Many people are just sleeping and expecting to receive free handouts from the MPs,” said Mr Ngati.
He also reminded the government that the country has neglected the agriculture sector for too long. He says that should the government focus on improving this sector for the next decade, people will likely turn to agricultural activities.
“What I see now is that people are wasting their energy in the industry. They have created huge gardens of vegetables and crops just for sustaining them daily.
“They have ventured into agriculture by putting in more efforts into their farms, piggery, poultry, kava and others just for the sake of marketing or consumption. That has been happening for the past thirty odd years or so.
“Now we are looking at getting it together again, which is a very good thing. Instead of venturing into sustainable farming, it’s good to see that the government is looking at establishing it in a more strategic way,” the Councillor said.