MK Farm Fresh at Takambow Community, Northwest Guadalcanal received new essential farming tools from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) through its Guadalcanal Province Extension Office on 14th December to boost its vegetable and fruit crop production.
The tools donated to MK Farm Fresh included mini power tiller machine, chainsaw and one grass cutter.
The tools were procured through a UNDP funding support in partnership with MAL through, Guadalcanal Province Extension Office (Agriculture Division).
Owner of MK Farm Fresh, John Maeli Kauvera said he was grateful for the tools, which would make farming work easier.
“In the past, we used to loan from the commercial banks to purchase basic tools. With this support, there will be improvement in our production and expansion to guarantee every households have access to healthy and nutritious food,” Mr. Maeli said.
He thanked MAL and UNDP for the support and for choosing MK Farm Fresh as the recipient of the tools under the Model farm project.
Mr. Maeli is a popular person for his supply of Guava fruits and vegetables to the Honiara markets. He planted over 10,000 guava trees. Most people (resellers) usually buy guava fruits from his farm and resell it at markets in Honiara.
He involved in intercropping and of course one of the main supplier of fresh vegetables and root/fruit crop to markets in the city (Honiara).
MAL Chief Field Officer (CFO) for Guadalcanal Province, Joseph Wotomaru said the assistance is assured to boost farm production to ensure households or communities have access to nutritious food to promote healthy and happy family and to reduce increased cases of Nutrition Disorders in Solomon Islands.
Mr. Wotomaru said the support is devised under the Model Farm project that the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health through the Guadalcanal Province Health Authority (GPHA) is implementing.
“The Model Farm is a sub component of the National Food security and Enhancement program aimed at Promoting and assisting vulnerable communities to improve Food and Nutritional status to to ensure every households have access to nutritious food to promote healthy and happy family and to reduce increased cases of Nutrition Disorders in Solomon Islands.
He stated that other farming issues to be addressed under the project to ensure sustainable production of nutritious food readily available in target communities include:
1. Climate risks and impacts,
2. Soil degradation (Soil health issues),
3. Pest and diseases infestation and conservation of plant genetic resources (Conserving and preserving of our indigenous crops).
MAL and the Ministry of Health, Guadalcanal Province Health Authority commenced this programme to improve Nutritional Disorders in Guadalcanal by promoting and delivering the following activities;
- Development of model farms/gardens,
- Training programmes on health, nutrition and agriculture jointly delivered through MAL and Ministry of Health extension networks and
- Distribution of seeds, equipment and tools.
Mr. Wotomaru said to ensure that the Model farm investments are sustainable and to achieve their desired outcomes, they will need to be risk informed.
“MAL in collaboration with UNDP under the Governance for Resilient Development in the Pacific Project (Governance Resilience) aims to risk inform The Model Farm Projects in six provinces including Guadalcanal.
“This means planners will need to acknowledge certain risks which might impact the success of the farms in each province, and design management measures to mitigate these risks. Doing so will enhance the resilience of the model farms in the face of climate change and disaster events, as well as ensuring that they meet the needs of all people in the community including youth, elderly, and all genders,” MAL Guadalcanal Province CFO, Mr. Wotomaru stressed.
He further said that this is a four (4) years project and will be implemented by Guadalcanal Province Agriculture Extension Division in collaboration with the Provincial Health Promotion division in Guadalcanal Province.
At the same time Mr. Wotomaru acknowledged MK Farm Fresh for taking on board the initiative and for its continuous engagement, promotion and production of nutritious food crops to support food security in the country.
“To MK Farm Fresh farmers, we really appreciated your positive response to take on board this initiative on our behalf and we thank you for your continuous engagement, promotion and production of nutritious food crops to support the food security of this country. These farm inputs will surely lift the morale of farmers and will also increase the quality and quantity of produce in the field. Please utilize this expensive tools and machineries and look after them well. This is an opportunity that others wish to have to boost their farm productions,” Mr. Wotomaru emphasized.
Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries of Guadalcanal Province Hon. Daniel Ogu Besa’a, congratulated MK Farm Fresh for becoming the lucky recipient of the tools.
He also acknowledged MK Farm Fresh continuous contribution toward food security in the country and looks forward to working closely with farmers in the province to guarantee households or communities have access to nutritious food to promote healthy life.