Malaita farmers’ plea for urgent shipment as chicken feed running critically low
Farmers in Auki, Malaita Province have expressed fear that further lockdown and the prohibition of ships travelling to Auki would severely affect their businesses.
As such, Tom Tumu, who runs one of the biggest layer poultry farms in Auki of around 1,000 birds speaking on behalf of the farmers said they have to cut meals down as a control measure given that feed is running low.
“Right now I have to cut the amount of food that I give to my chicken as a control measure so that the feed will last me a few more days,” he said.
Tumu said all Malaitans in Auki who feed chicken to sell or for eggs – so as piggery owners have expressed the same concern fearing the closure of their business once they are unable to get new supply.
Also as a resident of Auki, Tumu said food and fuel in the town too are running low.
“Our appeal is for the government to allow one shipment to Auki to restock us with the basic needs,” he said.
Tumu said the farmers desperately need new supply from Honiara to help maintain their businesses as further delays would have a serious impact on them.
Farmers in Malaita usually order feed from their suppliers in Honiara who then load them into boats and dispatch them to Auki once or twice a week.
Under current lockdown orders no ships are allowed to travel out of Honiara.
Honiara is into its second day of lockdown which will end on Saturday 6pm following the COVID-19 outbreak in the capital last week.
Auki had also recorded positive cases last week.