MEMBER of Parliament for North West Guadalcanal Bodo Detke says the measures employed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) to fight the Rhinoceros Beetles are lousy.
Speaking on the floor of parliament yesterday, Mr Detke said 33 traps set up by the ministry to fight against Rhinoceros beetle shows how lazy the responsible officers in MAL are.
Mr Detke said he just return back from one of his coconut plantations in North West Guadalcanal, from which he chopped down 130 spoilt coconut trees.
He told the Minister for Agriculture Dudley Kopu that the ministry’s officials are lazy and they should have been sacked if they were working in the private sector.
Mr Detke says the 33 traps set up by the ministry are lousy, given the huge areas of land covered by this pest in North West Guadalcanal to North East.
He argued that $480,000 cost for setting up 33 traps is lousy, stressing that MPs on the government side prioritize to purchase their $400,000 costs of their Hilux, forgetting that we are in a crisis with our coconut and palm oil industry.
He went on to say that government is committed to different priorities by spending money on oversea trips while our only resource, which the country’s economy rely on, is in its devastating state.
Mr Detke demanded Mr Kopu to tell this nation how effective the fight against Rhinoceros beetle by his ministry, since Guadalcanal, Savo, Choiseul and North Malaita are now invaded by this unwanted pests.
He said the ministry should not rely on efforts by the Guadalcanal Plain Palm Oil Limited (GPPOL) because the company will only sought to protects its plantation, but the people living in the villages desperately need the help of the responsible government authorities to curb the spread of the beetle.
However, the Minister says fighting Rhinoceros beetle and giant African snail is everyone’s business and ministry will continue to work hard to control and manage the population of the pests.
Mr Kopu says MR Detke should not label his officers lazy because they are on the frontline and remain committed in the battle against Rhinoceros beetle.
By AATAI JOHN