Why We Need Biosecurity
Agriculture is vital to the sustainable development of Solomon Islands. Effective biosecurity controls are essential for protecting subsistence agriculture for food security, the domestic production of cash crops for sale within and between communities, and select crops for export. Biosecurity is also essential to protect our natural environment and biodiversity which are fundamental to our tourism and log export industries.
For a country wanting to develop and maintain its agricultural markets internationally, it is essential that its National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) can demonstrate its pest status and maintain an effective border agency by delivering biosecurity functions.
Solomon Islands relies heavily on agriculture and subsistence farming (74% of the Solomon Island population live in rural areas) and the country’s economic development and food security and the natural environment may be jeopardised by the accidental introduction of exotic pests and diseases.
With a functioning biosecurity system in place, a country can become a more successful participant in the global agricultural commodities trade. Following current trends in the Asia Pacific region, it is likely that growing populations and the strong economic growth in the Asian region will lead to an increased market demand for agricultural commodities. Increased demand regionally for food and primary commodities should provide an opportunity for the development of Solomon Islands’ agricultural trade) and industry, with resultant positives for Solomon Islands' economy and improvements in rural livelihoods.