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KGA’s Cofounder – Joini Tutua Dies

June 7, 2010

‘Father of organic farming’ passed away

THE man who was regarded as the ‘father of organic farming’ in the country has died peacefully at his home at Burns Creek, east Honaira on Monday 17th May 2010 at around 1.15 am.

Joini Tutua, 73, died early Monday morning after battling many months of cancer.

Mr Tutua previously a minister of education and twice as the minister for agriculture from 1985, was one of the country’s pioneer in promoting the principle organic farming and locally grown food.

Based in Burns Creek, Mr Tutua operates his own farm called Zai Na Tina which also accommodates the Kastom Gaden Association (KGA) close by.

He also published a book in 1994 entitled – ‘Sapa – The Natural Way to Grow Food In Solomon Islands’.

Born on 4th August 1937 from Rereo, north Choiseul, Mr Tutua came from a family of 2 girls and 4 boys.

He was the eldest in the family of six children.

After attaining his education, he become a teacher, school principal, community advisor, shipping manager, one time provincial member, member of parliament, minister of the crown and organic farming promoter.

Between 1984-1988 he was the MP Gizo & Kolombangara constituencyin the Western Province.

As a minister of education he was instrumental in the idea for the establishment of vocational training schools in the country and tabling the bill which allowed government to provide grants to church run schools.

He was a Provincial member for Katupika ward between 1994-2004 and was also a one-time deputy premier for the Choiseul province.

At that time he was instrumental in the purchase of the province’s first ship which is still operational – MV Lauru.

After retiring from politics he continued to promote organic farming to the rural farmers as well as conducting radio talks on organic farming, which had benefited alot of local rural farmers and families.

In 1991 he started Zai Na Tina organic farming which is still producing good harvest.

A lot of farmers and students have been visiting his farm to see the style of farming he had developed over the years without using fertilizer yet, his crops continue to bear good harvest.

In 1994 he was one of the co-founder of the kastom Gaden Association (KGA) and was the chairman until his passing away.

Between 2002-2005 he was also a peace councilor promoting peace after the tension.

Married to a woman from Marovo he had left behind 6 children and 10 grand-children.

Many relatives, friends, farmers, government officials and close associates of late Tutua visited his home to pay their respect. Messages of condolence were received from diffrent organisations and freinds within the country and overseas.

He is laid to rest beside his wife’s grave on Tuesday 18th May at the Betikama Adventist Cementary- Honiara.