FOOD and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Director General, José Graziano da Silva and Minister for Agriculture, Augustine Auga have signed an agreement to establish FAO representation for the Solomon Islands.
The agreement was signed at the 11th FAO South West Pacific Ministers of Agriculture Meeting which is being held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
Assistance in Solomon Islands has focused on building the evidence base for policy-makers and supporting local food production.
FAO is working in partnership with stakeholders in the Pacific to provide technical assistance in development activities.
“The Solomon Islands has partnered with FAO since joining the Organization in 1985. Cooperation has been aimed at enhancing sustainable agriculture and rural development.” Said FAO Director General, Jose Graziano da Silva.”
“FAO’s presence in the Solomon Islands will be strengthened with the establishment of a country office”.
Mr Auga said, “today’s signing of the Country Agreement to house an FAO office in Honiara is a historic event indicating a whole new set of commitments each partner will be making in order for expected outcomes to be realised.”
The Minister added, “as has been experienced in the past, the physical separation has created quite a lot of challenges in communication, and implementation of approved programme activities. Hopefully, this will change with having the FAO office in Honiara.”
Monitoring and analysis of data on food security and nutrition is crucial for informed decision-making and policy development.
A key area of cooperation with the Solomon Islands is in data collection and analysis to fill the gap in reliable data on agricultural production, particularly smallholder production.
The FAO Sub-Regional is based in Apia, Samoa. FAO has also established agreements for permanent representatives in Tonga and Vanuatu.