The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Hon. Nestor Giro outlined his Ministry’s 2022 development budget spending in Parliament on Wednesday (April 20).
Speaking during the current budget session, Minister Giro said his Ministry has aligned its development projects to the overarching redirection policy of the National Government which included for strategic actions specific to the Ministry.
These included (1) the provision of opportunities for rural fishers and communities through promotion of on-shore fisheries and to increase contribution of commercial and large scale tuna fisheries to the national revenue, (2) to improve and strengthen the contribution of small-scale fisheries for food security and socio-economic benefits of fishing communities, (3) support indigenous resource owners in marine resource business management plans and (4) to strengthen Provincial and National Fisheries Governance.
The Government has allocated a total of SB$15 million to the Ministry under the 2022 development budget to address these four policy strategic actions.
Of the total allocation, SB$7 million will be spent on community livelihood programs which will address projects including (1) the Progress GIFT Tilapia aquaculture program, (2) reef trials of hatchery reared juvenile sea cucumbers under the sea cucumber fishery management program, (3) expand seaweed farming to new sites in selected provinces and (4) support the implementation of Community Based Resources Management (CBRM) activities in provinces to support communities manage and develop their fisheries resources.
In addition, SB$4 million is allocated to fish export infrastructure and fisheries centres program which covers (1) Support to implement the Russell Islands Fisheries program, (2) Support the construction of Fataleka Fisheries Constituency centre (3) Improve Lata and Niola fisheries centres, (4) Expand Fish Aggregating Devices (FAD) Programme in the country and (5) Clear contractual obligations for Gizo 3-bedroom residence and MFMR HQ picketing fence work.
The final SB$4 million of the total is allocated to Tuna Onshore development and processing program which covers (1) Progressing the Tuna Onshore Processing Plant in Bina, Malaita Province, (2) Progressing the development of electronic fish accounting system at Noro port and (3) Enhance and expand the electronic monitoring and reporting systems for longline fishery.
Minister Giro said the 2022 budget is inclusive, forward looking and people-centered which continues to promote investments, build infrastructure and create jobs and continues to address issues that resonate with the everyday struggle of our people.
“The 2022 budget of $4.383 billion, in my view, is one that will allow us to weather the current difficult storms and those ahead, building resilience in our systems, and contributing significantly to improve the wellbeing of our people,” Minister Giro said.