Potential areas of future cooperation in agriculture development for Malaita Province were the focus of discussion during a bilateral meeting between the Malaita Provincial Government (MPG) and Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences (JAAS) of China at the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) conference room in Honiara on 1st November 2023.
The JAAS delegation was in the country last week to deepen mutual understanding and explore potentials of future cooperation especially in agriculture development with the hope of establishing cooperative ties with institutes in the country.
MPG was represented at the meeting by Honourable Premier Martin Fini, Hon. Minister for Commerce Edward Misite’e, MPA, Provincial Secretary (Acting) David Tuita, Policy Advisor Watson and a Chief Planning Officer Peter.
The meeting was a success as both MPG & JAAS delegates exchanged talks on potential areas for close collaboration to support agriculture development in the province towards improving people’s livelihood.
Discussions were centred on how MPG and JAAS can improve and promote such cooperation especially in agriculture development for the betterment of the province and the whole country.
Both sides also used the opportunity and discuss areas that they can explore to have deeper cooperation in it.
Potential areas of collaboration that get more prominence during the discussions were training, technical support, joint research opportunities particularly in agriculture, establishment of demonstration farm/centre and the government’s proposed commercial rice farming in Aluta.
JAAS President Professor Yi Zhongyi was pleased to meet with Premier Fini and his delegation.
He said Fini’s presence to meet him in-person and his team was a strong prove that he (Premier Fini) have great importance in agriculture development for the province and its people.
“I hope from this meeting, we can promote our cooperation in more areas in the future.”
JAAS is a comprehensive agricultural research institution established in Jiangsu province of China since 1931. It strives to make agriculture more productive and sustainable through technology innovation and it is a place where innovation thrives.
Meanwhile, Hon. Premier Fini in welcoming the visiting JAAS team said the meeting marks a historical event of formal interaction with experts from Jiangsu province.
Premier Fini said Jiangsu and Malaita provinces are working on signing a MOU to establish formal development cooperation at the provincial level, which makes this meeting a very timely one.
He said the Jiangsu-Malaita provinces sister relationship MoU content is very clear and is based on Malaita government’s new redirection policy which clearly identified doable, transitional and fundamental projects and programmes for the province.
“One of our policy development programmes is focus on agriculture sector and that requires good governance, leadership, foreign relationship, trade & market and infrastructure development.”
At the same time, JAAS president Yi said agriculture development cannot be done without good agriculture technicians.
He assured that there will be opportunities for officers to travel to JAAS in China for trainings in the future.
“We need practical cooperation in these areas so that we can enhance our mutual understanding and promote our cooperation. We can have training in both ways. One way is that we will have our scientists to come here to demonstrate techniques and the other way is that you can send your scientists to our academy (JAAS) so that they can have long term training so that they can learn more about the agriculture complete production system.”
Premier Fini said Malaita is looking forward for more practical cooperation and engagement with Jiangsu province experts in the area of agriculture development once the Jiangsu-Malaita sister relationship MoU is signed.
He also acknowledged President Yi and his team for the assurance for more future cooperation towards agriculture development in Malaita and Solomon Islands and also expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to meet with the JAAS delegation and reaffirmed MPG commitment to working closely with Jiangsu province for shared future opportunities.
Ministry of Rural Development hosted the JAAS delegation and meetings.
– MRD Press