Government agricultural activities to move to Tenaru

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He said this is an urgent matter for the Ministry of Agriculture. Maneniaru says food security is very important for the people.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock will use the former Tenaru Field Experimental Station to expand its agricultural activities.

Permanent Secretary Ethel Frances told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the Tenaru site will be developed to replace the site occupied by the Pacific Games facilities at the former ROC farm in KGVI.

Ms Frances said the development of the Tenaru pitch will come within the Pacific Games Development Budget, a move that was not welcomed by the PAC.

The committee says this is of concern as it endangers food security as farmers no longer have access to agricultural materials and equipment to continue or expand their farming activities.

“My observation is that we are talking but we are not setting our priorities correctly,” said West Are’are MP John Maneniaru.

He said this is an urgent matter for the Ministry of Agriculture. Maneniaru says food security is very important for the people.

Meanwhile, the permanent secretary said he had struck a deal with the National Hosting Authority (NHA).

“We have made a condition with the NHA that they will cover the initial expenses. They will make the road, make the fence for the first 10 hectares to allow us to build our first facilities to move all our materials from the old ROC farm.

“There is also an ongoing discussion that five to six hectares will go to the PRC because the PRC wants to support. But the arrangement is that we want them to come and actually just support us, but if there is something that they would like to do there, then there is an allowance for them there.

“At this point, we don’t know why they will come, but we do know there will be technical support and we know that they will also want land where they will come and operate,” Ms. Frances said.

The initial MoU signed between the PRC and Solomon Islands covered five areas:
1. Solomon Islands and China coordinate all bilateral relations
2. Economic and technical cooperation to support the economic development of the Solomon Islands,
3. MOU on education to support the education sector of countries,
4. Belt and Road Initiative, and
5. Support for cooperation of Guangdong province in the fields of agriculture, fisheries and medicine

Most of the development at the Tenaru land site for agricultural activities will be done within the game’s development budget. The PRC will also support resettlement as mentioned by the Permanent Secretary.

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