MAL SIART- The Solomon Islands Agriculture and Rural Transformation (SIART) project team and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) visited the proposed agricultural development sites in Kira Kira, Makira Ulawa Province from May 29 to May 31, 2023.
The team consisted of the MAL Deputy Secretary Corporate, Elda Leah Wate, SIART Project Manager, Louisa Fakaia, Environmental Safeguards Officer, Steve Sae, and Communications Officer, Oligao Niniu.
The team paid a courtesy visit to the Makira Ulawa Provincial Minister of Natural Resources, Honorable Richard Faga, and the Provincial Secretary (PS), Peter Trena.
During the visit, Louisa Fakaia introduced the SIART Project to the Provincial Executive and Administrative representatives on the areas which SIART Project and MAL could partner with the Makira Ulawa Province.
MAL is shifting the sector to a new agricultural production platform, based on developing a new rural synergy as the energy of creating and building the new momentum.
The SIART project is well aligned to this mandate and pilots these in Malaita, Makira and Guadalcanal provinces. The energy for rural agriculture production is to be corporatized through the structures of agriculture producer organizations in the shape and form relevant for the specific provincial contexts.
SIART Project works on the four components; MAL, through the SIART project encourages rural farmers through Agribusiness Producers Organizations (ABPOs) to do more small-scale livestock, bee keeping, feed mill, and also to consolidate our present crops like cocoa, coconut, and new commercial crops.
According to PS Trena, his administration is glad with the project because it is timely.
“Makira Ulawa Province is a driver of the agricultural sector in Solomon Islands. And having the proposed agricultural investment infrastructures like the market place, storage, poultry and pig slaughter slabs, and an office will boost the province’s agricultural production,” he said.
Elda conveyed the team’s gratitude for the welcome shown by the Provincial Executive, Administration, and the Provincial MAL officers.
She said that MAL has taken on the lessons learnt, through experiences with the previous agricultural development projects. And then incorporated the positive ones, and expecting to move forward.
“Your willingness to open up for a public and private partnership in the agricultural development is a step forward,” she added. “In the long term, such partnership will enable the private agricultural investments to survive and thrive.”
During the sites visit, Makira Ulawa Provincial Premier Julian Makaa said his Government welcomed SIART Project and keen to work with it to develop the needed investment infrastructures to boost the Makira Ulawa’s agricultural production and marketing.
“My province renders its moral and other supports the project needs towards its smooth implementation in this province and its rural communities”, he said.
Provincial land spaces and engineers have been made available to work with the SIART Project implementation team.
During the visit, the team carried out social and environmental eligibility and impact screening.
The SIART and MAL team met with the two identified pilot Agribusiness producers’ organizations (ABPOs) who are cocoa producers and purchasing and women’s club doing piggery.
The team briefed the ABPO members of the SIART Project’s expectation on ABPO’s eligibility to be supported under SIART Project.
The SIART and MAL team was happy with the outcomes of the visit to Kira Kira. END/////