GOVERNMENT has been challenged to utilise the services of its top qualified local scientists.
A local soil specialist Simon Iro from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) highlighted this when speaking Thursday at the opening of SPE Analytical which stands for ‘Soils, Plants and Environmental Analytical & Scientific Supplies Services.’
Its owned by a local soil scientist Dr Shane Tutua who is from Choiseul and Western province.
Mr Iro said, the opening is a milestone not only for the owners but also for Solomon Islands.
“Particularly, those organisations like Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL), Ministry of Forestry, Ministry of Environment, Universities, non-government organisations, resource , field surveys and so forth.
“This facility that we are witnessing today, indicates that we will have the potential people (scientists) around who have the heart to strengthen science research in the country.
“There are many out there and we can still move forward if we make use of them.
“We must recognise our local scientists (their role) and it is time that the government should recognise the “Cadre of Science”.
“Any developments in agriculture, forestry and so forth will always depend on information and data generated through laboratories.”
Mr Iro also highlighted that since the ethnic crisis (1999-2003), most researchers, scholars, workers and resource owners have been working alone and without such facility in the country.
“In took them time and money to produce their data overseas. This had happened because of poor decision-making those days.”
He said, the militants burnt down the laboratories at Dodo Creek Research Station on the Guadalcanal Plains, thinking that the world has come to its end.
“However, a few years later after the restoration of the law and order, Solomon Islands has been trying t get on its feet through various stages to regain its strength.
“This strength that I am referring to is “access to research facilities”. Most Solomon Islands graduates today have been left unutilised or working in wrong places because of lack of facilities or researches for them to use.”
Therefore he said, such facility is important for the development of the nation as well as to help locals conduct their research and schools access science equipment.
By MOFFAT MAMU