The Kastom Gaden Association (KGA) has welcomed the Australian Minister for International Development the Hon Ms Melissa Parke into their modest office compound in Burns Creek, Honiara, Solomon Islands. It is the first time KGA received such high dignitaries into their office compound.
Welcoming the Hon Minister, the Chairman of KGA Moses Pelomo thanked the Australian Government through Ausaid for the financial support to KGA to implement a “strengthening food security for rural livelihood” project in the Solomon Islands. The Chairman has alluded that Solomon Islands, especially the rural community are facing the challenge in food security and in that regard the support to KGA was timely executed. KGA continues to build capacity skill sharing in food crop technology. The Chairman said that food security has becoming a global issues, he therefore requested the Minister for continue support to enable KGA to mission is realised in every corners of Solomon Islands.
The Honourable Minister, in her brief speech had raised the issue of climate change and its impact on food security and livelihood. She said “it is a global issue and each country should formulate strategies to reduce its impact.
The Hon Minister was impressed of the work of KGA. She visited the Planting Material Members (PMN) seed storage to see how seeds were collected, packed, stored and ready for dispatching to PMN members who resides nearly in all the provinces in the Solomon Island. Thecla Vapusy, PMN Coordinator explained the process that involved in the seed storage room.
She also visited a typical rural kitchen setting, where food is prepared using local materials. The uses of Koki stove is a simple invention that is appropriate to our rural people. It uses less firewood, cooked food faster with less smoke and produced locally. Roselyn Kabu, the Program Support Officer for Women Nutrition and Health also explained the importance of growing food crops around the kitchen so that it can be easily collected.
The Hon Minister’s delegation include Deputy Director of Ausaid James Batley and the officials from the Solomon Islands Ausaid Office.
It is also a good experience for KGA Staff too to have such eminent visitors.