Farmers and the general public in Tulagi Central Island Province are privileged to learn about plant health and diseases affecting plants and crops thanks to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) in partnership with Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) for organising the promotion activity.
The stall promotion on Plant Health Clinic (PHC) and Disease Awareness was conducted by officers from MAL together with SPC rep based in Honiara during Central Province second appointed day held in Tulagi last month (29th June).
Apart from the plant health and disease awareness, officers also provided awareness and disseminate important information’s to farmers on important agriculture cash crops like kava, melon and other crop production, and Food security information during the day.
The event provided an opportunity for officers to provide advice for farmers struggling to control pest and disease affecting their plants and root crops as well as supported them with advice on practical and long-term management practices to ensure farmers care for their crops more effectively for increase production, income generating and promoting nutritional and food security for farmers and consumers.
Highlight of the day was a visit to the MAL stall by the Honourable Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and his high level delegation.
Senior Field Officer Patrick Fiasi who was part of the team said his team was feel honoured to have the PM and his respected delegation paid a visit to their stall and asked questions concerning the importance of the PHC program and other programs that the ministry is undertaking where they (offers) were able to respond to them.
He said to witness people of such high calibre show interest to know about PHC and its benefits to our farmers is encouraging.
Mr. Fiasi also took the opportunity to highlight to the PM and his delegation the services that the Extension department is providing to the rural farmers and the many challenges that it usually face in its service provision.
“The PHC and awareness attracted a lot of farmers and people during the day as they visited the stall to learn about the importance of PHC and collect informational materials (brochures) on pests and diseases as well as access agricultural production information’s. The event was a success,” Mr. Fiasi said.
Plant Health Clinic’s (PHC’s) are currently delivered through the MAL extension services.
Plant Health Clinic (PHC) is a meeting place where local agricultural advisory officers, called Plant Doctors, come together to support farmers struggling with plant pests and diseases by providing diagnoses and management advices.
Australian government is the major funder towards Plant Health Clinic programmes through its Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) in collaboration with commissioned organisation SPC to train Plant Health Doctors which include MAL Extension officers, Research, Biosecurity and SPC PHC assistant officer based in Honiara under its ACIAR HORT/2016/185 funded project in partnership with MAL to carryout PHC trainings for farmers in the country in response to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture across the pacific region.