BY ALFRED PAGEPITU
THE Western province is reportedly planning to ban agricultural products from other provinces.
This is in response to the growing threat of the giant African snail and the coconut rhinoceros beetle, which are easily making their way across country.
The snail and the beetle are threatening the agriculture sector of Solomon Islands, and the Western province’s decision is based on proactive preventative measures against the pests.
Western provincial secretary (PS) Jeffery Wickham told this paper yesterday the provincial government is close to reaching a conclusion to put a stop on market produces from other provinces.
The Western province is taking this drastic measure because it treasurers its agriculture sector and recognises the utter importance of agriculture to the livelihood of its people.
He said the executive will soon inform its agriculture quarantine division to conduct awareness on the ban.
“We have determined on that issue to ban goods, especially market produces from other provinces to provincial urban centres in Western province.
“This is because of the fear of the African Giant snail and Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle that may spread to Western Province.
“We will soon issue notices to all the shipping services and logging companies entering the province to properly check by concerned authorities before coming to the province.”
He clarifies however that this does not stop people from other provinces trading with the Western province.
He said stakeholders including farmers, ship owners and travelling public will be made aware once the ban comes into effect.