30 Oct 2008

Forum Secretary General urges security of food production

11:39 am on 30 October 2008

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, says there is now a strong acceptance of the need for the region to systematically ensure its food security.

Pacific Economic Ministers have this week been exchanging views on how they have been confronting the issue.

This has been done through removing tariffs on key imports such as rice, through subsidies, encouraging home gardens and more elaborate agricultural programmes, such as rice farms.

The Ministers concluded more could be done, with their Action Plan noting the region has unrealised potential for food production.

Mr Slade says there is an understanding of the need to manage the production of food beyond daily needs and into the long term.

"I think there is very clearly an acceptance now of the need to plan well ahead to engage the community at all its levels to make productive use of the land. And there are many countries in the Pacific with land areas that are not being properly used."