Honiara, 6 April 2023: The Fisheries Minister Hon Nestor Giro is satisfied with the progress of work made at the Ministry’s Aruligo Aquaculture Centre and assured his officials he will do everything in his capacity to ensure the project is completed on time.
He made this assurance following a visit to the project site yesterday morning.
His visit is purposely to assess the progress of work. The visit was short but comprehensive, with the Minister taking a tour of facility’s ongoing activities including, the ponds, solar field, water tanks, administrative office, and a small tilapia farm managed by a local farmer, Maxwell Ham.
Accompanying the Minister on the visit were his Permanent Secretary, Dr. Christian Ramofafia, Director Mr. Edward Honiwala, and other officials from the Ministry’s Project and Aquaculture Divisions.
Minister Giro, whilst noting the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the progress of work at the facility, henevertheless, expressed satisfaction with what he saw during the visit and assured his officials that he will report back to the cabinet on his findings as the government too is keen to see the project completed quickly.
The Aruligo Aquaculture facility is a key project of the Solomon Islands government, aimed at boosting the country’s fish production capacity and creating jobs for local farmers. The facility is expected to produce GIFT tilapia, a hybrid species of tilapia that is currently farmed in many countries in the region.
During the visit, Minister Giro took the time to encourage his officials to continue with the great progress to date. He went on to emphasize government’s commitment to developing the fisheries sector in the country given the Ministry’s annual revenue of more than $300 million to the country. Minister Giro also took the time to praise the efforts of the local community in supporting the project and encouraged them to continue doing so.
In his closing remarks after the tour Minister Giro again told his officials that the Aruligo Aquaculture facility is a positive development in the ongoing efforts to boost fish production in the country. He is hopeful that with the government’s commitment and support the project be completed soon, so aquaculture fish production can be enhanced and increased to contribute to country’s economy and food security.