Policy setting for improved linkages between agriculture, trade and tourism in the Solomon Islands

A two-day Agritourism Policy Setting Workshop is taking place in Honiara, Solomon Islands, from Tuesday 21 to Wednesday 22 November 2017. It is being organised by the Government of the Solomon Islands in partnership with CTA, the Pacific Island Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO), the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the Pacific Community (SPC).

All key stakeholders in the agriculture, tourism, trade and health sectors, including government ministries, agribusinesses, agro-producers, chefs, farmers’ organisations and technical organisations will be brought together, with the aim of developing further linkages between agriculture, trade and tourism sectors to support local businesses in serving tourism-related markets in the Solomon Islands.

Agritourism: pairing opportunity with development

Tourism is the lifeblood of many Pacific economies and agritourism provides a promising avenue for diversification and trade growth. High quality, nutritious and healthy food, available every day of the year, is critical to hotels, lodges and resorts. Often the food-purchasing bill of a tourism site is large in comparison to the size of the local economy, yet surprisingly little of this is spent locally, even when supplies are available from farmers, fishermen and small-scale agribusinesses. The challenges of shifting food-sourcing to local suppliers are considerable – achieving this in a way that meets commercial needs and customer preferences, and meets food and safety requirements, would be one way in which tourism operations can significantly increase their contribution to local economic development.

CTA at the forefront of agritourism development in the South Pacific

This workshop builds on the positive experience of Vanuatu and Samoa, where the national governments, together with CTA and partners, also organised successful Agritourism Policy Setting Workshops in 2016. The next Agritourism Policy Setting Workshop is scheduled to take place this year in Fiji. Discussions are underway for similar activities in Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Cook Islands, Timor Leste and Palau for 2018.

More recently, CTA supported an Agritourism Workshop for the entire Pacific region on 18 October 2017, as part of the first Pacific Week of Agriculture (Vanuatu, 16-20 October 2017). Participants shared lessons and experiences in agritourism development, and deliberated progress made by agribusinesses in serving tourism markets in selected countries. It resulted in the first ever Agritourism Development Recommendations, which were presented to and approved by Pacific Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry Services (MOAFS) on 20 October 2017. Following this, Pacific Ministers of Tourism attending the 27th South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) Council of Tourism Ministers on 25 October adopted their own Agritourism Recommendations, significantly advancing the agritourism agenda in the Pacific.

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