Farmer Calls for Support to Boost Productivity
There is growing demand for fresh fruits and vegetables in Honiara, and farmers are calling for support to boost productivity.
At the MK Farm, located in the interior of North West Guadalcanal, guava fruit trees grow in abundance - the fresh scent of sun-dried guava leaves greets visitors.
The owner, John Maeli, says while demand for guava has been growing in Honiara productivity levels has dropped. He says there are not enough trained farmers who have simple yet important skills such as nursery, planting and pruning of guava - which ensures good yield and harvest.
Mr Maeli says the demand for fruits like guava has been growing in Honiara, compared to previous years.
�Hospital, hotels and restaurants always place orders, and at the same time we also sell at the local market because there is high demand�.
He says the kind of support farmers like him want is ongoing training, one that would help boost productivity. He also believes that there are other better high yielding guava varieties suited to the climate but requires research.
He says if local farmers are supported there is a good chance more people will return to such healthy food and eating habits, particularly with the rise of non-communicable diseases or NCD.
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