WHILE DCGA pins the hope of Solomon Islands economic revival on the Pacific Games, United Party (UP) believes that agriculture and fisheries remains the economic backbone of our nation.
This was the statement of Member of Parliament for East Areáre Peter Kenilorea Junior.
Mr Kenilorea Jnr, who is a member of the United Party, made this statement in response to Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare who stated in his recent national address that “the Pacific Games is the main driver of our current economic revival, it is the major employer of Solomon Islanders, and it is the principal catalyst for other major economic activities for our country”.
However, in a statement on Saturday (12th March), Mr Kenilorea Jnr said United Party believed that agriculture and fisheries is the economic backbone of our nation.
“It can provide the platform for thousands of Solomon Islanders to directly be involved in gainful employment.
“At this time our UP policy would have been to ‘export our way out of this pandemic’,” Mr Kenilorea Jnr said.
He said what the government needed to do is play its role in facilitating the development capacity and scale up production, as appropriate, including;
- strengthening R&D;
- formulate policies and laws that put Solomon Islanders in the driver’s seat in terms getting the best returns on their agriculture and fisheries resources;
- negotiate market access for SI products with our trading partners,
- support infrastructure development in our private sector and industry that help us meet certain export standards and
- develop manufacturing in products with special incentives for those pursuing downstream processing and value addition.
“While the games might contribute towards helping our economy in the short term, agriculture and fisheries have and will always be our mainstay,” the MP said.