The Solomon Islands Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) Policy 2015- 2019 had four clear goals: 1; To achieve food security; 2 To improve rural livelihoods; 3 To promote agriculture for import substitution; and 4 To increase trade.
The VISION of the policy was sustainable agriculture and rural development, economic stability, and improved rural livelihoods for Solomon Islanders.
Now, in 2020, how far did the policy succeed in meeting its goals?
I do not know the answers but at a guess I would say there has not been much progress in improving the lives of the rural communities.
Also, at a guess, I expect the impact of climate change has had an adverse affect on food security and happenings, ,such as cyclones, hit the primary sector export commodities such as copra, cocoa, palm oil, wood products and fish.
Several factors including poor transportation, the narrow economic base, and limited physical infrastructure I believe will have contributed to the difficulty faced in developing a self-reliant agricultural sector.
With an estimated 84% of the population depending directly on the sector, a critical challenge is still to develop agriculture to stimulate growth in the rural economy and rural incomes.
In 2020 and beyond I believe it will be essential for the Solomon Islands government to devote more attention by way of infrastructure and general development to achieve poverty alleviation, curb the move to urban migration and ensure societal stability.
I feel sure the SIG has such intentions in mind and one would hope that the broad spread of aid from traditional partners, and new ones, will bring about the developments much talked about in recent months.