Bioversity international

Chapter 4. From the ocean to the mountains: storytelling in the Pacific Islands Fishing and agroforestry food system of the MelanesiansSI people in Solomon Islands

  • MelanesiansSI of Baniata village in Rendova Island
    Western Province of Solomon Islands
  • Chris Vogliano
    Massey University
  • Jessica E. Raneri
    Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT
  • Shane Tutua
    SPE Consulting

At a glance

This study characterised the food system of the village of Baniata, on Rendova Island in the Western Province of Solomon Islands. The original land-owning tribe of Baniata was Irurego, but currently eight different tribes live amongst one another. The community is self-sufficient, with the majority of food production, 70 percent, by agroforestry farming, fishing, hunting and wild sourcing; however, an increasing percentage (30 percent) of their food is sourced from imported or processed foods from the market. Home foods are produced without agrochemical inputs, as villagers have expressed interest in maintaining organic production practices. All villagers rely on agri-food sale as their primary source of income including garden produce, copra (dried coconuts) and ngali nuts. Traditional foods are eaten daily in Baniata, often mixed with imported and highly processed foods. Food insecurity is perceived as a result of seasonal availability of home garden foods, impacts of pests and diseases on crops, changes in weather patterns and impacts on seas, high costs of food items such as meat and milk, and shifting taste preference from traditional crops to processed foods. Whilst the diversity of crops is declining, the local traditional varieties offer resilience against climate and pest disturbances, helping promote nutritious diets and access to diversified foods.

“We are a welcoming community that works together, and we are proud of our baked ngali nuts.”

Woman from the community in Baniata.
United Nations Geospatial. 2021. Map of the World. Washington, D.C., UN. [Cited 7 June 2021.]