By EDDIE OSIFELO
ABOUT 17,000 people in Honiara have expressed their interests to receive free vegetable seedlings from Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock when the message was posted on social media.
Undersecretary Technical Michael Ho’ota stated this after the handing over of 600 seedlings to 10 recipients in Honiara at National Agriculture and Livestock Research Development Center (NARLDC) at old Taiwanese Technical farm opposite KGVI School.
Each recipient received a total of 60 seedlings which include 20 seeds of pakchoi, 20 seeds of saladeer and 20 seeds of choisum.
Ho’ota said the government will try its best to meet the demand through the households in Honiara.
He said about half a million was allocated under the budget to do this activity.
However, Ho’ota said the activity will really help the food security in Honiara during this coronavirus period and reduce Non Communicable Diseases in the long run.
Besides, he said the ministry wants to see more people participate in vegetable farming to meet the export market in future.
The Agriculture research team at the National Agriculture and Livestock Research Development Center (NARLDC) at old Taiwanese Technical farm opposite KGVI School supplied the seedlings from their mass nursery production.
The NARLDC team under the Ministry of agriculture and Livestock is mandated by the National Disaster Organising Committee Livelihood committee to carry out the task to ensure food supply (Vegetables) for Honiara is maintained even when in a lock-down situation due to COVID-19.
Chief Research Officer Maria Ghasuka said the nursery started in April 2 where they planted the seeds.
Mrs Ghasuka said they targeted 20 households in Honiara but the demands has increased and will do mass production of 8000 seedlings.
Most of the vegetables seedlings are three weeks old and need another three weeks before harvesting.