THE government is preparing to launch an initiative to commercialize the farming of a variety of agricultural commodities in the country.
Temotu premier Hon Clay Forau Soalaoi in his speech yesterday to mark the province 39th second appointed day said the initiative is an effort to address the constraint of sustainable supply required for sustainable trade.
Once the plan rolls out, he said the province must be able to meet and sustain the demand by potential buyers for quantity and quality to enable long term sustainable trade.
“We are talking about breadfruit, Taro, Cassava, and Banana to name a few. Farmers will be encouraged to cultivate their arable land and turn it into hectares of the different commodities mentioned.
“I believe that when we shift to commercial farming, we will have enough products to export with no concern for food security. We are also working on a strategy to elevate honey production in Temotu,” he said.
He said the rationale behind the strategy is to increase the number of people involved in honey keeping.
“When that happens the amount of honey produced will increase giving us the volume for export.
Therefore, he said what should be done now is for the government to facilitate a shift from small subsistence farming system to large commercial farming that will enable enough supply of products for trade and at the same time ensure food security.
Mr Forau said the provincial government understands that without the basic necessary infrastructures, economic development can be severely compromised, and therefore, we are now working on a strategy called THE ROAD MAP TO 2025.
He said the goal is to have in place infrastructures such as an international airport, international seaport, a trading vessel, better communication facilities and better roads.
“We will liaise with responsible government ministries on these important projects. In fact, we have already submitted the infrastructure projects mentioned to the head of government and other donor partners.
“The objective is to have these infrastructures in place before the introduction of state government system in 2025 as announced by the Prime Minister. Our desire is to ensure that Temotu provinces is better prepared for the introduction of the state government system,” he said.
He said achieving statehood may very well be both a dream come true for some provinces as well as a defining moment for some like us in the eastern part of the country.
He said the other issue that has been confronting the government is that of land. It is a real dilemma that requires cooperation of land owners.
“The Processes of formalizing land for development cannot be fulfilled without the cooperation of land owners.
“Land owners must understand that land is needed by the government for development.
“The willingness of land owners to offer land and work together with the government will be a catalyst necessary to advance development,” he said.
He said the provincial government believes that the issue can be resolved now as land owning groups are now talking with the government.
Mr Forau said more registered land is needed in order for the national government and donors to invest in Temotu with confidence.
He said land availability and people’s willingness to work with the government and other development stakeholder is crucial.
“This will allow us to convert our potential into monetary value that people can use to improve their standard of living,” he said.
By FOLLET JOHN