BY ALEX DADAMU
MORE than forty (40) Farming Households in the Northern Guadalcanal plains are ready to sign the cassava and potato outsourcing contract with the Ministry of agriculture and livestock and Sape farm.
According to Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, the Sape Farm Programme is looking to sign 3 to 10 Hectares of Farming plots per Household.
“There are already more than 40 farming households in the northern plains, waiting to sign the Cassava and Potato outsourcing contract with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) and Sape farm – who are planning to sign between 3 to 10 Hectares of Farming plots per household.
“This is approximately 200 hectors of cassava and potatoes,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.
Sogavare said the objective included in the agreement between (MAL) and Sape farm, was to export Root Crops.
He reveals that in the coming months, the Ministry of agriculture and livestock will construct a house for processing cassava for export.
Prime Minister Sogavare said the government will soon sign a memorandum of understanding with St Joseph’s Tenaru School, Don Bosco, St Martin, and Selwyn College, under the initiative as well.
The SAPE Farm Programme is an SBD 2.7 Million funding agreement and partnership signed between the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) and Sape farm representatives recently to support the government’s Food Security Programme.
The Ministry is now progressing discussions with St.Martin, Don Bosco, St JosephTenaru, and Selwyn as part of its local food production program and is hoping to sign contracts soon.
MAL Permanent Secretary Ethel Tebengi Frances said that they are focusing on schools as partners because they each have a large portion of land registered under their authorities so easier to deal with such investment now with those already have land available for mass production.
Mrs. Tebengi Frances said the ministry is hoping to create up to 300 jobs or more through this program and will be expecting more jobs as it rolls out similar programs to the provinces.
In the meantime, the MAL Permanent Secretary said work on a Meat Production initiative is being progressed as well and contracts will be signed soon.