Yearly rice imports are putting Solomon Islands at a serious food security risk level, especially when external shocks such as the increase in world food prices normally trickles down to rice importing countries.
Chief Field Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Willie Tuita made the comments at the opening of the Don Bosco Tetere rice harvesting week on Tuesday.
Speaking to guests at the harvest launching, Mr Tuita said about 30-thousand tonnes of rice are imported each year and this costs more than 50-million Solomon dollars.
He said the figure and amount increases each year along with the country’s increasing population and this drains the economy, as well as deprives other developments such as social services.
“This is a big drain on the economy, depriving it of the money it should spend on other developments and social services such as health, education and infrastructure. Moreover, it places the country at a very serious food security risk level, especially when external shocks such as an increase in world food prices normally trickles down to rice importing countries such as Solomon Islands, and who suffers, it is you and I who depended on rice for food.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Field Officer says it is encouraging that Don Bosco Tetere has been performing consistently with rice growing.
SIBC News understands while the Technical Institution grows rice for self-sufficiency purposes.