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Solomon Island farmers and complete capacity building

Nursery - Pricking seedlings at Panatina.
27/12/2018 Honiara, Solomon Islands

Farmers and farmers’ groups in Guadalcanal, Malaita and Temotu provinces in Solomon Islands have recently completed trainings on improve production and farm management practices.

Technical topics such as rapid multiplication on taro and yam, seed saving, nursery managements, soil fertility management, composting, farm management and record keeping were covered during these three “Master Class training” workshops organized in Guadalcanal, Malaita and Temotu. Training materials on the mentioned topics were developed and pilot tested. Established demonstration sites and nurseries under this project, were used for more practical and in-field trainings.

FAO is working together with Kastom Gaden Association (KGA) to improve agriculture production practices of root and cash crops, and build capacity of farmers and farmers’ group on farm management.

The Government of Solomon Islands has identified as a priority the promotion of lokal kaikai (local food consumption) for healthy diets in the Solomon Islands Food Security, Food Safety and Nutrition Policy, the Solomon Islands National Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyle Plan and the Agriculture and Livestock Sector Policy. “By improving the agriculture production and farm management practices, this project can help to improve the availability and access to lokal kaikai around the Solomon Islands”, explained KGA staffer, Mr Pitakia Tikai.

The trainings were part of a project funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to increase the efficiency of root and cash crops production, improve the price competitiveness of these foods relative to food imports, and to increase their availability.

“By building the capacity of farmers and farmers’ organizations to adopt improved agriculture production methods, learn effective farm management practices and establish market access linkages, this project aims to increase availability and access to local nutritious food “lokal kaikai” and enhance rural livelihoods” Said, Shukrullah Sherzad, FAO agribusiness value chains consultant.

The project also provides assistance to school canteens and food vendors to improve methods of processing local food items into value added products. Increasing the consumption of local food, particularly root crops high in micronutrients, will contribute to improving the food and nutritional security of rural communities in the Solomon Islands.

“By improving the marketing linkages between farmers’ organizations and school canteens, this project can help to improve the nutrition profile of school meals and nutrition outcomes among young people”, explained, Shukrullah Sherzad, FAO agribusiness value chains consultant.

The Government is promoting enhanced synergies between agriculture and the education sectors and the adoption of improved production and marketing practices by small farmers to tackle the food and nutrition challenges faced by the nation and enhance rural livelihoods through employment creation in the agriculture sector particularly for unemployed youth.

“Given the rising youth population, particularly in rural areas, young farmers are a key constituent of capacity building trainings and primary beneficiaries of this project”.  Said Assistant FAO Representative for SI, Rosemary Kafa.

 

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