THE Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) through its Research Department, has established the country’s first ever Noni observation plot at Mile six in Gizo, Western Province.
The noni observation plot will support MAL research officers to generate vital information for the development of the crop through research with regard to data collection and other research related activities.
MAL Research Officer, Raymond Vava said a total of 150 noni seedlings were transplanted into the field (observation plot) with five plants per phenotypes.
“It took us two days to do transplanting,” Vava said.
In August last year, MAL Research Officers conducted a one-week preliminary survey to assess Noni (Morinda Citrifolia) in certain parts of Western province particularly in areas around Munda in West New Georgia, Saerangi in Gizo and Vonunu in Vella La Vella.
“The objective of the survey was to identify the number of varieties present in those locations and study their morphological characteristics as well as their geographical distribution.
“The field survey was important in order to identify potential varieties that can be cultivated for commercial production.
“From the three main locations surveyed, a total of 30 noni plants phenotypes were assessed and evaluated for their morphological characteristics and will be subjected to further field observation to collect data on yield performance.
“The establishment of the noni observation plot at Mile 6 station in Western Province has been carried out successfully with the transplanting of 30 noni phenotypes that were collected from sites surveyed last year.
“This noni observation plot was the first to be established by MAL Research in an effort to generate vital information for the development of this crop through research.
“Data collection and other research related activities pertaining to this work will be carried out progressively in the future,” Vava explained.
He thanked MAL Chief Field Extension officer for Western Province Rove Sipuru, agriculture extension officers and the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) agriculture practical students who have helped in the raising of the noni seedlings and assisted in field transplanting exercise.
Developing the Noni industry and others like kava and cassava is one of the key policy priority of the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) therefore the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) remains committed to it.