Plant Your Seeds
…to improve your family’s health
Solomon Islands Planting material network AusAID Community Peace Restoration Fund
…produced by Russ Grayson
Building community security
[ Download file ] (pdf 1.35MB)
The value of the Network to the recovery of communities from conflict or natural disaster was proven in the months following the year 2000 conflict in the Solomons.
The conflict created a massive refugee flow as Malaitan settlers were forced from Guadalcanal by the Isatambu Freedom Movement’s guerillas who quickly gained control of the countryside surrounding the capital, Honiara. Forced back to their home villages on Malaita, the challenge was to feed the suddenly-swollen village populations and to establish some measure of food security for the future.
Rising to the challenge, the Australian government’s aid agency, AusAID, funded the PMN, through the Community Peace Restoration Fund, to expand the production of seed and to distribute it to families now returned to Malaita as refugees. In Sydney, Russ Grayson from TerraCircle Inc (www.terracircle.org.au), got to work to produce an instructional brochure to accompany the seeds that explained how to plant and save them at harvest after most of the plants had been used for food. This was the PMN’s first foray into humanitarian aid, having previously focused on long-term development aid.
The experience validated the potential role of community-based seed networks in recovery from conflict and natural disaster. The model would be applicable not only in other South Pacific island states but further afield in Asia. This is a role that deserves further investigation.