Premier Fini applauds SIG-Landowner initiative to partner in commercial rice farming


Malaita Premier Martin Fini last week applauded a partnership initiative between the National Government and Landowning tribes of Auluta basin in East Malaita to develop commercial rice farming in the area.

Landowning tribes including Abukwaiara, Gwaibau’ula and Ambu tribes in the Auluta basin region offered their lands for sustainable development projects after a previous proposed oil palm development project was canceled due to its none viability.

Premier Fini told Deputy Prime Minister and MP for East Malaita Hon. Manasseh Maelanga during a courtesy meeting in Auki last week that the Provincial Government believed much in forging partnerships with resource owners to develop their lands with viable and suitable projects.

“I am excited about this proposed commercial rice farming project in Auluta to replace the previously planned oil palm development project. I want to applaud the national government and landowning tribes for this initiative, which, I believe once progressed will enhance commercial activities and food security in that part of our province,” Premier Fini said.

Premier Fini further called on the National Government to ensure major national projects allotted to Malaita Province including infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges must be included in the national budgetary cycle in the years ahead.

DPM Manasseh Maelanga and Premier Martin Fini during the courtesy visit in Auki last week

He said Malaita Province has suffered from the consequences of previous government decisions that distanced itself from the national government, making it difficult for the provincial government to deliver services to its people.

The Premier acknowledged that the Province has its unique challenges over the years and as a community must consistently strive for development that recognizes its pathway to improving the lives of its people.

“We pledge our unwavering commitment to supporting the priority policies set forth by our national government. We understand that true progress can only be achieved when we work hand in hand, united as a nation, and steadfast in our resolve to uplift the lives of all Solomon Islanders. Malaita Province stands ready to play its part in contributing to the growth and prosperity of our great nation,” Fini said.

“As we embark on this journey together, let us remember that our strength lies in our unity. It is through unity that we can effectively address the challenges before us and seize the opportunities that lie ahead. We must engage in a meaningful way, fostering cooperation, dialogue, and understanding among all stakeholders,” he added.

A joint national government team including the Ministries of Commerce, Agriculture, the Office of the Prime Minister and the Malaita Provincial Government successfully held the first consultation and awareness programme with landowning tribes in Auluta basin last week.

The consultation and awareness meeting was aimed at informing people of the processes that are involved in developing commercial rice farming as intended by the landowning tribes.

The meeting raised awareness on areas including feasibility studies, funding, investment opportunities and how landowning groups participate in their desired development projects, such as the proposed commercial rice farming project.

Administrative work to finalize the project design and other vital components of the project by responsible Ministries is ongoing and is expected to roll out in 2024.


– Government Communication Unit

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