THE Australian Government initiative Strongim Bisnis joined an Australian High Commission delegation on afield visit to Bio-security Solomon Islands’ (BSI) facilities in and around Honiara on July 24.
The Australian delegation was headed by High Commissioner Roderick Brazier, and included Chris Dale and Daniel Beard, from the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
The field visit provided an opportunity to showcase the important work of BSI protecting the ports and airport and the role of BSI’s Henderson Post Entry Quarantine and Research Lab.
Australia has supported bio-security capacity building activities through the Solomon Islands Bio-security Development Program (SIBDP) since 2013.
SIBDP is implemented by the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
The Australian initiative Strongim Bisnis has worked collaboratively with BSI/MAL and New Zealand on communication campaigns to fight the coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB), which currently threatens Solomon Islands’ coconut sector.
Australian High Commissioner Brazier said:
“Strengthened quarantine and bio-security systems and successful engagement between industry and government agencies were critical to maintaining and developing Solomon Islands agricultural production.
“Australia is proud to support the Ministry for Agriculture and Livestock and Bio-security Solomon Islands in the important work that they do, particularly their current efforts in managing coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB).”
Director of Bio-security Solomon Islands, Francis Tsatsia thanked Brazier for visiting the facilities and expressed his appreciation for the Australian Government’s support.
Tsatsia said “the visit provided an opportunity to discuss some of the challenges faced by BSI, including the lack of proper bio-security facilities and the importance of bio-security capacity leading up to the Pacific Games in 2023”.
Strongim Bisnis is an Australian Government initiative that supports growth in the cocoa, coconut and tourism sectors with a strong focus on women’s economic empowerment.
It works with businesses, industry and government to strengthen collaboration, help businesses innovate, build commercial resilience and manage market risks.