For the first time, two provincial agriculture extension services have come together to discuss a way forward for strengthening extension service delivery and enhance food security and livelihood for their respective provinces for the year 2017 and beyond.
A statement from the Ministry of Agriculture said, Honiara Urban City agriculture staff together with the Rennell and Bellona province agriculture extension staff convened on Rennell Island for their staff conference from Monday 22nd to 24th May 2017.
It was opened by Mr. Michael Ho’ota, Director of Agriculture Extension Services of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL).
“First let me acknowledge the Chief Field Officers for Honiara Urban City and Rennell and Bellona province for the wisdom and insight to host a combined conference here on Rennell Island.
“This is first of its kind for agriculture extension staff from any two provinces to come together and collaboratively discuss effective ways of providing extension services delivery for the people you served.
“Our gathering here is very important because it enables you discuss and identify priority areas or activities to be implemented this year and into the future,” Ho’ota told the conference.
The theme of the conference is “Strengthening extension services delivery and enhance food security, livelihood for a resilience agriculture Solomon.”
The Director said this theme was selected due to the ever changing demands, challenges and needs by the more that 85% of our population living in the rural communities’, also the socio economic situation of the country and the increasing effects of climate change which calls for new solutions and strategies.
The conference proper continues after the official opening with Ho’ota enlightening participants with the Democratic Coalition for Change Government (DCCG) policy priority areas for the MAL as well as the 2017 budget.
His presentation also covered updates from the Extension Division for 2017; highlighting the allocation for the two provinces under the two important SIG funded programs namely Food Security and Livelihood projects.
“The Food security project and livelihood project continue to be the major programmes that the department is implementing.”
“These two programmes are developed to ensure food security and livelihoods are improved through support to projects that are sustainable and are able to ensure food security and generate income, he said.
That provided the backdrop for Honiara Urban City and Renbel staff to identify priority activities thereby formulating their work programs for 2017 and into the future.
The conference continues today with more presentations and discussions. It will conclude after field trips tomorrow.