SIART, MAL- A team from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) visited the proposed Tenaru Agriculture Field Experimental Station recently.
The team consisted of the staff from the MAL Research Department and the Solomon Islands Agriculture and Rural Transformation (SIART) Project.
The team carried out an initial environmental and social screening of the site proposed for Agriculture and Livestock research centre, training centre, and pig breeding improvement facility.
Those investment infrastructures will be funded by SIART Project.
“The 10 hectares of the 37.5 hectares of the land parcel will accommodate the first stage of the Tenaru Field Experimental Station,” said Martin Jaiki, Director of MAL Research Department.
He highlighted that the SIART project’s support to MAL in the area of research is timely. It helps MAL to build the capacity of research to improve the agricultural production.
He added that the re- establishment of the Tenaru Agriculture Field Experimental Station is a positive step for the country’s agricultural development, since the closure of the former Dodo Creek Field Research Station in late 1990s, the agricultural sector has been hard hit by the low commercial production.
The proposed agricultural investment infrastructures at Tenaru Field Experimental Station are expected to increase small stock production, research on both the crops and livestock, and will benefit many farmers on Guadalcanal and other provinces in getting the agricultural knowledge and quality pig breeds.
The access road to the site has been cleared after the UXO work had been done in an arrangement between MAL and the National Hosting Authority.
Steve Sae, SIART Environmental Safeguards officer said the team has carried out the Eligibility screening to see whether the project is qualified for funding from the World Bank through SIART Project.
Team also did the Impact screening for the potential impacts from the project; based on those impacts, an Environmental Code of Practice will be prepared to help MAL complying with its general environmental duty and the World Bank’s new environmental and social policy and the Environmental Act 1998.
He added that the Code will advise MAL on how to prevent or minimise the environmental harm.
Sae added that similar initial environmental screenings and impact assessments will be carried by his team in the other two SIART project provincial identified sites at Kira Kira, Makira Ulawa and Auki, Malaita Province.