1 February 2019
Solomon Islands: Atoll agricultural projects indicative of a Work Plan in support of the National Food Security Policy?
I had lunch with a visitor from Honiara this week who told me about the current agricultural projects being carried out at home including farming systems concentrating on atoll agriculture where food sources were diminishing, especially in Ontong Java and in the smaller islands in Temotu Province.
After our lunch and when my guest had returned to attend the opening session of the conference he was attending in Bangkok about the Green Climate Change, I pondered the whole question of food security in view of the increasing influence of climate change and the loss of food gardens occasioned by recent flooding brought on by a Pacific cyclone.
I knew the SIG had instituted a Policy Framework in 2010 which resulted in the National Food Security Policy with the purpose of supporting operations in promoting and ensuring food security strategies were properly managed.
When I learned of the atoll agricultural projects I was left with the question whether the most vulnerable atolls and other places considered at high risk from climate change have now been identified by the government has needing extra help in ensuring long-term food security and adaptation measures?
I recall reading in one aspect of the Performance Audit Report of the Auditor General released last year that the Policy Framework had some weaknesses including a lack of an Action Plan to fully implement the strategies that were detailed in the National Food Security Programme (NFSP)
Looking at the commentary in the OAG’s audit report I see that it said the NFSP (quote)
“The Policy only contains broad strategies. It lacks specific prioritised guidelines or action plans to ensure that it is achieving its goals and objectives. Its success depends on the existence of the working group derived from the three ministries to develop and implement the action plans. Although the objectives are clear and strategies are identified, to address the remote and vulnerable islands, it lacks the action plan to implement the strategies in order to achieve its objectives. In addition to that performance measures to evaluate and monitor the success of its implementation.”
Now that I know of the projects underway in Ontong Java and in the small islands in Temotu Province, can I assume there is now an Action Plan to ensure the most vulnerable locations in the Solomon Islands and the communities there are better assured of long-term food security and aided with adaptation planning?
It was my belief that the 2010 National Food security policy document was aligned with the UN FAO World Food Summit objectives with the aim of ensuring long term food security and to improve the livelihoods of food producers, consumers, rural and urban communities in the Solomon Islands.