Malaita Farmers Educated On Biosecurity Export Protocols
Biosecurity Solomon Islands of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) has delivered eye opening presentations to farmers in Malaita Province on Biosecurity export procedures to meeting requirements of international markets.
Biosecurity Chief Market Access Officer Luke Kiriau emphasized the export procedures to farmers attending Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Enhanced Capacity for Agriculture Trade (ECAT) funded Market Access stakeholders Seminar held in Auki, Malaita Province from 15th – 17th September 2021.
Mr. Kiriau said that ensuring farmers and stakeholders informed on the processes and procedures on export to meet international market requirements is very important to guarantee they (farmers and stakeholders) explore opportunities for brighter economical future through trade with the support embedded through Biosecurity Solomon Islands (BSI).
EIF-ECAT funded project is currently under the canopies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET) with MAL Biosecurity has an important role in the EIF-ECAT project specifically in agriculture export commodities with the areas of concentration include improvements in effectiveness and competence of sanitary and phytosanitary related export procedures.
Mr. Kiriau said the presentations on Biosecurity protocols was an eye opener for many farmers who attended the workshop as they came to understand the importance of Biosecurity and the important role it plays especially in international trade.
“While we continue to encourage our farmers to increase their production on potential commodities, it is also important to inform them on standards that is required to meet requirements for export into international markets.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Kiriau said, “Solomon Islands need to change and adapt into more vigilant market/export chain system where Biosecurity protocols are delivered appropriately to international requirement in trade.
“Diversifying farm commodities is a way forward for Solomon Islands into creating a healthier economy to assist our current traditional commodities like colocasia esculenta (Taro) and Manihot esculenta (Cassava), with other varieties of farming products.
“Therefore, to allow potential farmers, exporters, importers, and trades to see this concept or made aware of biosecurity procedures is crucial likewise inform them about the importance of trade,”Mr. Kiriau said.
Mr. Kiriau added that the seminar provided an opportunity for Biosecurity to disseminate critical information on biosecurity trade approaches to stakeholders in Malaita province, by maintaining plant biosecurity disciplines in facilitating trade protocols. It also enable Biosecurity to provide emphasis on vigilant monitoring of pest and disease risk materials movement and protecting the spread of invasive pest and disease which may enter Solomon Islands through improper biosecurity disciplines trade protocols.”
Fresh produce export pathway system approach and market access opportunities for Solomon Islands was also discussed during the three-day seminar.
Mr. Kiriau said the seminar/workshop was a success with participants had the opportunity to voice their grievance against the current export/ import approach which had denied their products into international Markets for decades.
Representatives from Taro farmers Association – Takwa, Bitaama, Ghosen, Kava Rep from – East Malaita, Environmental Health, Rural Training centre, Save the children, MAL officials, Malaita Provincial Government, Provincial Youth, Women Association, Organic farming scientist and Church representatives attended the workshop. It ended with certificate presentation.
Malaita the second province to have the Market Access stakeholders Seminar training after Temotu province with similar training workshops anticipated for other provinces in due course.
Ghosen Farm Association organized the training with support from the government through MFAET.