Gozoruru rice project abandoned - Solomon Star News


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Gozoruru rice project abandoned

24 July 2014

Gozoruru rice project in Isabel province was closed down due to insufficient funds forcing its causal workers to walk off the field some three months ago.

The rice project was co-funded by the ministry of agriculture and livestock together with the Isabel provincial government.

Expressing his disappointment on that national project, Isabel agriculture extension principal field officer Jeffrey E’eniara described the situation as embarrassing for the people of Isabel province.

“The situation is really embarrassing to see such national and provincial project in its run down situation. It has force its causal workers to stop from maintaining the rice project as they have been without pay for months.

“The project was abandoned and becomes a grass land now.

“This year is really a troubled year for Isabel agriculture sector. The agriculture development budget has never been released as it was on hold; only the recurrent budget was released, but cannot cater for all our development plans.

“We somewhat felt as if we were being neglected as there we no support from both the provincial and national government.”

He said that despite of lack of fundings, Isabel farmers are doing well with their farming activities.

“Despite of lack of support from the authorities, farmers are going well with their farming projects.

“Kava, cocoa, coconut, and coffee farmers are doing things out from their own sweat, an excellent way forward.

“We should not be depending entirely on the responsible authorities.”

In 2013, the former Taiwanese ambassador urged Solomon Islanders to grow more rice other than depending on imported ones to reduce import bills.

Mr Wu said importing rice is expensive so it would be best if the country could grow its own rice.

“This is to ensure a healthy economy and sustained livelihood,” he said.

“Solomon Islanders must not depend on imported rice. Rice production can be done here to avoid costly imports if everyone can work together to achieve this.”

The ministry of agriculture since last week was unable to respond to our request for comments on this issue.