BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
MINISTRY of Agriculture and Livestock’s new Permanent Secretary is looking at drawing the Agriculture Sector Growth Road Map with aim to redirect the agriculture industry in Solomon Islands.
Making her first remarks at the Senior Extension Staff Conference after taking the PS role for MAL recently, Mrs Ethel Frances said she is planning on drawing out the Agriculture Sector Growth Road Map.
She said the idea is to redirect the agriculture sector to become the country’s revenue base as well as addressing the rising unemployment rate and imported goods in the country.
Frances said she has already discussed with donor partners and is happy to lend support for developing agriculture sector, and it is important to develop the agricultural sector growth road map.
“I already have discussion with donor partners and happy to assure they wanted to come and help agriculture sector and that is we need to draw an agricultural sector growth road map.
“It’s good to export and get revenue in but we need to feed ourselves, we need to create employment—we need to work together on achieving our goals.”
She challenges MAL’s extension officers to fight agriculture sector must recognise as a sector, that this is the backbone of this nation but it’s up to us to produce something convincing and presenting them to the government.
“I have been taught that donor partners are interested in agricultural sector and that is something I will aggressively go and find all the opportunities that there for us.
“It’s going to be challenging but that’s what I have in mind. Everyone one here your single contribution will help us draw that.”
MAL’s Director Extension/Project Sub Coordinator Mr Michael Ho’ota said agriculture continues to face challenges due to ever changing global economy, social issues and climate change.
He said MAL’s extension services require the resources and manpower to overcome these challenges.
This week, MAL’s officers convened at SIBC conference room for a series of discussion on ways to develop the sector across the country.
For the five-day conference, it was built under the theme: Farmers for Better Future.