Developing Resilient Model Farms To Improve Nutrition In Provincial Areas – Scoop.co.nz

Developing Resilient Model Farms To Improve Nutrition In Provincial Areas  Scoop.co.nz

Sunday, 27 September 2020, 8:45 pm
Press Release: Solomon Islands MAL

The Solomon Islands Government through the Ministry of
Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) has hosted a two-day
workshop with key government stakeholders in Honiara
recently, to design agricultural model farms that will
strengthen community resilience and enhance
livelihoods.

Held from 16-17 September at the MAL
office, the workshop brought together representatives from
MAL, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), the
Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs
(MWYCFA) and the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change,
Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM) Geographical
Information Systems (GIS) Unit to contribute to a risk
screening exercise for proposed model farms in six
provinces.

The collective expertise of participants
ensured that the design of the farms considers the health
and agriculture requirements, potential natural hazards and
importantly the differing strengths and needs and of all
users, including (but not limited to) women, men, youth,
elderly and people with disabilities.

“This
integrated approach to designing the model farms ensures
that they are sustainable, more productive and better meet
community’s needs. We need to acknowledge risks which
might impact the success of the farms in each province, and
design management measures to mitigate these,” said Sipuru
Rove, the Chief Field Officer, MAL Western Province. Rove
added “if farming in communities is more risk informed and
productive, the reliance on imported goods can also decrease
which is an additional economic benefit.”

From a
health perspective, Aloysius Vakeke, the Chief Health
Promotion Officer, MHMS Guadalcanal Province, said
“Solomon Islands has been found to have very high rates of
malnutrition, and pressure on food security has enhanced
since COVID-19. The model farms will support communities by
improving the diversity and nutrition of their crops. They
will be located in areas which have the highest rate of
nutritional disorders in each province, so will address some
of the priority areas in relation to health.”

The
participants also identified that it is important to
consider people’s differing needs at an early stage of any
project, to make sure it is accessible and beneficial to
everyone in the community.

Following the completion of
the workshop, the MAL will finalise the risk informed design
for each of the sites and start establishing the farms
before the end of the year. Once the farms have been
constructed, MHMS and MAL will deliver training that will
include guidance on nursery establishment, seed saving,
preservation, crop nutrition and hygiene, and demonstrations
to farmers at each site over the next three years.

The
workshop is supported by the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji
through the Governance for Resilient Development in the
Pacific (Gov4Res) Project and the UNDP Solomon Islands
Office in Honiara.

Representatives
from the Solomon Islands Government MAL, MHMS, MWYCFA, MECDM
and UNDP
image
Chief
Field Officer for Solomon Islands MAL Western Province,
Sipuru
Rove

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