In September 2019, I wrote encouraging local Solomon Islands farmers to start growing vanilla due to increasing global demand.
This is what I wrote by way of encouragement.
According to the latest market research the global demand for vanilla will reach over USD 735 million by 2026,
The climate in the Solomon Islands is ideal for vanilla crops and it suits local farming systems.
Vanilla is said to be easy to grow and sells for a high price. The important thing being the technique to get good pollination and good curing of the vanilla.
Vanilla is not new to the Solomon Islands. In 1965 it was imported from Hawaii and planted out mainly for experimental purposes. A few years ago vanilla was selling for USD20/kg but is understood the selling price is much improved today.
Solomon Islands can easily compete on the international market by selling to people who want high quality, organic vanilla.
Vanilla is one of the most widely used flavoring agents in the food industry. Vanilla extract is prepared by a process of maceration and percolation of vanilla pods in a solution of water and ethanol. The extract finds its application in various bakery products like cakes, ice-creams, brownies, cupcakes, puddings, and yogurt, worldwide.
The global vanilla market is expected to continue growing notably in the years ahead, owing to the growing demand for frozen desserts and bakery products. This is due to the increasing disposable income of people and rising demand for processed foods.
Another factor stimulating market growth is the vanilla beans application in the medical sector.
End of quote.
I have to confess that I read with a good deal of personal satisfaction in today’s Island Sun newspaper that vanilla farmers in East-Central Guadalcanal have benefited from training in cultivating vanilla and expected to sell their vanilla crops as early as September this year.
This is the newspaper report from the newspaper, quote.
Local Vanilla farmers from East Central Guadalcanal have benefited from their recent training and are confident to expand their farm.
The training was supported by Member of Parliament for East Central Guadalcanal Ishmael Avui to assist farmers venture into vanilla farming.
Chief and Community Leader Joseph Sungina of Patima Village acknowledged Hon. Ishmael Avui’s vision of educating local farmers in the rural communities.
“We appreciate our MP for providing such training for farmers in the rural villages.
“I participated in similar Vanilla trainings since 2014 to 2017 and I am willing to work with other vanilla farmers in my community.
“This year, a small assistance by Hon. Avui has enabled us to put into practice what we have learned from the CSP training,” he said.
Mr. Sungina said in 2018 he planted 200 plants which now bear flowers.
He said he is expecting to sell his vanilla beans by September.
He said after attending the training he is now preparing to expand his farm to up to 1,000 plants.
Mr. Sungina added he is now establishing a Vanilla Co-operative for East Central Guadalcanal.
“This is good for our community to grow vanilla because it is highly priced and does not cause stress on land fertility and soil erosion compared to other cash crops,” he said.
Meanwhile, Joseph said vanilla does not need much input to grow because it is easy to manage in the rural villages.
He said that with the skills he gained from an expert from France through the CSP programme, he is organising a training for members of his constituency co-operative society.
Meanwhile he calls on the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) to support rural vanilla farmers to develop their own farm.
“We are very grateful to our MP because the programme helped local farmers include rural people to understand the value of vanilla,” he added.
“The story of vanilla we have been hearing from other counties has now come to our doorstep.
“I believe out of the training the local farmers will put into practise what they have learnt.
He assured Hon Avui and his team that with the knowledge they gained from the training they are confident to make a difference for families and communities with his constituency.
End of quote.
In designing my website and introducing it via Google first page in 2014 the purpose was to help the Solomon Islands in practical ways, including charity support to the health services and to give support and encouragement to all means beneficial to Solomon Islands progress, including in education, job creation and in agricultural advancement. I am pleased the latest news regarding the rewards in vanilla production seem to have met, at least, one of my primary objectives.