Isabel Premier Leslie Kikolo.
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Kikolo queries gov’t over promised development


PREMIER of Isabel Province Leslie Kikolo has voiced his province’s disappointment to Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare over the long delay in the relocation of the National Agriculture Research institute to Garanga land near Buala.

Premier Kikolo highlighted this disappointment in his speech during the 37th anniversary 2nd appointed day celebration in Buala.

“I’m disappointed after signing the MOU with Ministry of Agriculture Livestock for a total of 374 hectares of land in Garanga for the National Agriculture Research institute, cattle, livestock and rice farming, since the signing was done a couple of years ago, nothing has eventuated,” Kikolo said.

“If the National Government is not interested in utilizing that land, I might reclaim it for other purposes,” he added.

Kikolo said although Isabel doesn’t have commercial farms as in other provinces, there are still great opportunities in terms of the development of Kava, now an export commodity which has begun in this Islands 30 years ago.

He also highlighted that Isabel is the only province that owns almost 45 percent of its total land.

He also assured the Prime Minister that his government is willing to use those lands for National Development projects, either it be SIG funding or on PPP arrangements with equitable benefit sharing regimes.

Meanwhile, Sogavare said that his officers already made a follow-up on the issue and will update the province in due course.

“I do note your disappointment with the relocation of the National Agriculture Research Institute and Livestock, my officers have already followed up on this before we left Honiara, we will update you on this,” Sogavare said.

However, Sogavare said he is happy to note that there is a field experiment station at Garanga, and that is something the national government will work closely with the province.