THE SOLOMON Islands College of Higher Education’s, School of Natural Resources (SNR) celebrated its first harvest of rice at its school farm on Thursday 22nd April 2010.
The rice harvest marks a milestone in the school’s practical farm training achievements.
To mark the occasion, a ceremony was held in the presence of representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Taiwan’s Technical Mission (TTM) - the two of whom are SNR’s major partners in the project.
Head of SNR, Connelly Sandakabatu said the upland rice farming technique is being used to cultivate the crop.
He said with the first harvest, SNR could produce the rice needs of the whole of SICHE.
Mr. Sandakabatu also highlighted the school’s is aspiration to go commercial into rice production.
“I feel that we have all it takes to produce rice on a large scale, except an irrigation system which would limit our farm food crop production.”
He explained that rice is part of their on-going Agriculture curriculum, which requires all students to be competent in rice agronomy and processing for the rural populace.
He thanked the Ministry of Agriculture and TTM for their support, adding that he is confident with the close collaboration their dreams could be achieved.
Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, John Harunari said SICHE’s rice project is one of 47 implemented by the government.
He said the CNURA government has placed rice farming as a priority in its policy due to the high expense the country faces in importing it.
He said for the past 10 years the government’s expense in importing rice stands at 700 million dollars.