PRIME Minister Sogavare today has officially launched the first ever Solomon Islands 10 years Agriculture Growth Strategy and Investment Plan (AGSIP) 2021-2030, in Honiara today.
The launching also coincided with the World Food Day celebrations under the theme “Our actions are our future – Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life.”
Speaking during the event, the Prime Minister said the most important aspect of agriculture is it is the source of the world’s food supply.
Prime Minister Sogavare said last month Solomon Islands made a very bold statement at the United Nations Food Systems Summit that by 2030, all Solomon Islanders will have access to healthy diet and live wealthy lives.
He said by 2030 all countries in the world will wave their flags at the UN and report on what each country has done to achieve the objectives of one of the sustainable development goals and that is to have a healthy diet and to live a wealthy life.
The Prime Minister said although it is a challenge, it is achievable if we all work together.
“Solomon Islands stands ready to achieve this by 2030 and we can and will achieve this 10 year road map which is designed to transform our agriculture sector,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said the 10 year roadmap is our guideline in achieving that goal.
He said the strategy also sets out the country’s 21st century vision for our agriculture sector.
The Prime Minister said it is an ambitious roadmap aimed at revitalizing, modernizing and commercializing the agricultural sector to contribute to the wellbeing and prosperity of all Solomon Islanders, ensuring food, nutrition, security and economic growth.
“It is designed to make our farmers the most competitive and successful people in the country and in doing so transforms our agriculture sector to one of the best in the region. It is developed with inputs from farmers, regulators, exporters, government officials, quality experts including a team from the food & agriculture organisation and international fund for agriculture development of the United Nations,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said the strategy also incorporated hard learned lessons from the past and experiences faced not only domestically but also developing countries around the world, which also focuses on new technology and creative incentives for local farmers and larger agro processors.
He said the strategy is designed to launch the agriculture industry into the next generation and beyond.
“It is imperative to have big dreams for this sector and I am convinced the agriculture sector provides the answer to the many national challenges like unemployment, poor health, weak and vulnerable economy and poverty,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the strategy is also intended to usher in a whole transformation in the agriculture sector to make it competitive and modern industry.
He said it is time local farmers are introduced to the know-how and new technologies in the agriculture industry to enable them to thrive.
“It is also designed to facilitate nationwide implementation approach which includes the public, private sector, local farmers, NGOs, civil society, development partners and so on,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister acknowledged all development partners that have supported the agriculture sector throughout the years.
He said a development partner working group is currently been setup to support the implementation of the 10 year strategy.