Malaita Farmers Educated on Biosecurity Export Protocols
Biosecurity Solomon Islands of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) has delivered eye opening presentations to farmers in Malaita Province on Biosecurity export procedures to meeting requirements of international markets.
Biosecurity Chief Market Access Officer Luke Kiriau emphasized the export procedures to farmers attending Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Enhanced Capacity for Agriculture Trade (ECAT) funded Market Access stakeholders Seminar held in Auki, Malaita Province from 15th – 17th September 2021.
Mr. Kiriau said that it is important that farmers and stakeholders are aware of the processes and procedures for export in order to meet international market requirements. He says this would help equip farmers to explore export opportunities for their products, with the support partner agencies such as biosecurity Solomon Islands (BSI).
EIF-ECAT funded project is currently being implemented through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET) with MAL Biosecurity giving sepecific support on agriculture export commodities, particulalry in areas of competence relating to sanitary and phytosanitary export procedures.
Mr. Kiriau said the presentations on Biosecurity protocols was an eye opener for many farmers who attended the workshop as they came to understand the important role it plays especially in international trade.
“While we continue to encourage our farmers to increase their production on potential commodities, it is also important to inform them on standards that is required for export into international markets,” Mr. Kiriau said.
“Solomon Islands need to change and adapt into more vigilant market/export chain system where Biosecurity protocols are delivered appropriately to international requirements in trade.
“Diversifying farm commodities is a way forward for Solomon Islands into creating a healthier economy to assist our current traditional commodities like colocasia esculenta (Taro) and Manihot esculenta (Cassava), and other varieties of farming products. Being aware of biosecurity procedures is crucial."
Mr. Kiriau added that the seminar focused on the importance of vigilant monitoring of pest and disease, and protecting the spread of invasive pest and disease which may enter Solomon Islands. He says fresh produce export pathway system approach and market access opportunities for Solomon Islands was also discussed during the three-day seminar.
Representatives from Taro farmers Association – Takwa, Bitaama, Ghosen, Kava Rep from – East Malaita, Environmental Health, Rural Training centre, Save the children, MAL officials, Malaita Provincial Government, Provincial Youth, Women Association, Organic farming scientist and Church representatives attended the workshop. It ended with certificate presentation.
Sources: MAL Media and Solomon Times Online.