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Solomon Islands: Rural Development Program in Pictures

The Rural Development Program (RDP) is part of the Solomon Islands Government’s initiatives to increase public and private investments in rural areas, in order to strengthen the rural economy and create jobs.  The program is the first five-year phase of a long-term program to improve rural livelihoods by increasing access to community infrastructure and agricultural services, and support for small and medium rural businesses development. The program, aimed to benefit 300,000 people or 60,000 rural households, complements other Government’s initiatives and is supported by AusAID, the European Commission and the World Bank.

   

Solomon - Children on beach

 The Solomon Islands comprise close to 1,000 islands, including about 300 inhabited islands, whose economy is based on agriculture and natural resources. 85 percent of the population lives in rural areas, often in remote geographical locations away from the main urban centers. Difficult access to infrastructure, services, information and markets, and vulnerability to natural disasters are key constraints faced by villagers.

Solomon - Consultations at local level

 

The Rural Development Program has been prepared through intensive consultations at the local level to learn from past programs and ensure that it responds to the priorities of rural Solomon Islanders. The need for improved access to basic infrastructure and services as well as more employment opportunities have been identified as the top two priorities in the provinces.

Solomon - Children in school

 

Implemented in collaboration with the national and provincial governments, the program will provide annual financing grants to rural communities who wish to rehabilitate, upgrade or expand community facilities and infrastructure, such as market access roads, water supply and sanitation, or storage facilities. Priorities will be established by the communities themselves through transparent and open consultations.

Solomon - Local Farm Support will be provided to the restoration of agricultural services which are in high demand among smallholders.  To ensure that those services respond to local needs, priorities will be established by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock on the basis of priorities identified by farmers and their provincial representatives.
Solomon - Local Market 

Support will also be provided to improve production and marketing of key products and goods such as pigs, cocoa, fresh fruit and vegetables for local markets,  depending on their contribution to the economy of the different provinces and islands.

Solomon - Privet sector development The importance of promoting private sector development in rural areas is also taken into consideration to create additional jobs in the provinces and facilitate access to services. The RDP will contribute to Government initiatives by providing business skills training to small and medium rural entrepreneurs.
Solomon - Small Business Forum The support to small and medium enterprises will be through employment creation in rural areas, by providing an outlet for rural products or facilitating their access to markets. Training and financing facilities will be provided, in partnership with the commercial banks.
   

More information:
black arrowProgram documents
black arrowSolomon Islands: Agricultural and rural development strategy: summary (1.3mb pdf) or the full report (2.5mb pdf), March 2007
black arrowRural development and agriculture in the Pacific Islands 
black arrowPacific Islands website




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