People in the Solomon Islands capital are being encouraged to return to the practice of cultivating their own supsup gardens as a means of providing fresh foods.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is leading the revival of the urban garden in Honiara, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, who are concerned about the increase in non-communicable diseases.

The director of Extension at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Michael Ho’ota, says urban areas especially are showing high rates of NCDs, as people have easy access to processed foods at shops and markets.

Mr Ho’ota says they are initially targeting about 200 households this year.

“What we hope to do is to probably set up a couple of nurseries within the town boundary where we will raise seedlings and then supply to those people who are interested to plant those vegetables.”

Michael Ho’ota says families will also save money by growing their own produce rather than buying fruit and vegetables at market prices.