Newly elected MPs are urged to support the nation’s agriculture sector.
The call comes from two organic farmers Johnson Ladota and George Kwaifii.
Ladota is a promoter of organic farming with Kastom garden and Zae Na Tina organic farm in east Honiara.
“Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of any nation,” he said.
“It is only appropriate that the new MPs realise this,” he added.
He said a good and vibrant agriculture industry ensures food security and reduces our dependence on imported food stuffs, some of which are detrimental to our health.
Ladota said the country has the potential to develop its agriculture industry to a level that it can sustain itself both economically and food security wise.
“We have the land and labour force available. All that is needed is support from the national government to ensure the industry is well supported.
“I believe a well-developed agriculture system will contribute to the improvement of standard of living for our rural populace.”
Ladota added the government should aim at developing our agriculture industry to a level where we can export our excesses to international markets.
“Finding international and reliable local markets for our agriculture crops would encourage farmers to work hard and grow more crops because they know there’s a market out there for their products.
“I understand development is not something that can happen overnight, but we have to start now.”
As a farmer, and he speaks for farmers across the country, transportation and market are two major challenges they faced.
“Farmers in the villages always find it difficult to bring their products to the markets due to unreliable transportation,” Ladota said.
His colleague Kwaifii said most countries see the importance of agriculture and supported the industry really well.
“This is why they develop their economies because they have a strong agriculture industry,” he said.
He said farmers stand ready to further develop the agriculture industry but they need backing from the government.
“This is where I want to let the newly elected MPs know because without government support, farmers would not develop further,” he said.
Kwaifii said if the agriculture sector is well-developed, the high youth population who are jobless could find work within the sector.