EDITORIAL- Empowering our rural farmers

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THERE’S nothing like putting smiles on the face of our villagers with small assistance that would help them move into small income generating projects.

It’s called people empowerment.

You give them the tools that they can use to earn money for themselves than relying on the MPs all the time.

This was exactly what the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock had been doing in recent weeks across the country.

In Renbel for example, the ministry last month handed over tools to three farmer groups to help them with their kava projects.

Last week, Agriculture extension officers visited the proposed National Piggery project site on Gizo, Western Province.

This was to assess the site and plan its implementation phase.

This week, the ministry delivered dozens of vegetable seeds and farming tools to the remote islands of Tikopia and Anuta, Temotu Province.

Since last year, the ministry has been assisting villagers across the country with tools and equipment to venture into farming projects.

These are the sort of assistance our people in rural areas need to help them go into small income generating projects.

More often than not, villagers are overlooked when it comes to allocation of agriculture resources.

That’s because Government tends to focus on investing in bigger projects, while ignoring the many village-based farmers across the country.

There is genuine and valid reason why the Government should be heavily investing in our village-based farmers.

It is one way of keeping our people busy in the village, while at the same time giving them the opportunity to earn an income from their land.

The rapid urban migration we’ve seen in recent years should be a serious cause of concern.

People are moving into Honiara and other urban centres because there’s nothing for them in the village.

The so-called Constituency Development Fund (CDF), which is channelled through MPs with the intention of developing the rural, is a big-time wastage of our meagre financial resources.

For the simple reason that CDF has failed to develop our rural areas and empower our people financially.

Yet, the politicians keep increasing the CDF grant almost every year.

That fund should be channelled through the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock so that it reaches the rural farmers.