The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) yesterday donated over $29,000 worth of farming tools and seedlings for the earthquake victims in Makira Ulawa Province.
The donation was presented by MAL permanent secretary Jimmy Saelea to the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) director Loti Yates.
Mr Saelea said this assistance was part of MAL’s swift response to the early recovery requirement for Makira Ulawa Province in terms of livelihood and food security.
A total of 994 pieces of farming tools worth $15,000 were donated. They include 122 garden forks, 372 hoes and 500 straight spades.
The seedlings, which came in 475 packets, are worth $14,790. The seeds include lettuce 46 packets, capsicum 80 packets, chilli pepper 40 packets, Chinese cabbage 90 packets, spring onion 69 packets, tsoisum 40 packets, tomato 40 packets and eggplant 70 packets.
Mr Saelea said “…providing agriculture tools to families will enable them produce their own food and help them gradually recover back to normalcy”.
“Give a hungry man fish and he has food for a day.
“Give him the means to catch fish and he will be able to feed himself for many days,” Mr Saelea said as he reiterated a popular quote.
He said MAL is happy to contribute to the efforts to addressing the effects of the Makira earthquake disaster through;
- provision of canoes and vehicles towards logistics,
- livestock and planting materials for restocking and replanting and
- agriculture tools to help with the recovery of affected families.
The donation was made to the NDMO in support to its work towards the recovery process in Makira Ulawa Province following the December earthquake.
Mr Yates thanked MAL for the timely assistance stating that NDMO is pleased with the heart MAL has for the affected communities.
Mr Yates said the items (seeds and tools) will be transported in the coming days to Makira for distribution to the affected communities and families.
Meanwhile, Mr Saelea thanked the Head of Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) for funding support towards logistics in getting the Livelihoods Assessment Team that will be leaving for Makira today, World Food Programme for assisting with technical support, NGOs and government agencies for their support one way or another.
“Disaster is everyone’s business.
“On behalf of the MAL committee I am pleased to hand over the farming tools that will at least provide some help to some families in the affected communities suffering from the effects of the recent earthquake in Makira.
“I believe with the tools, lives will gradually return to normalcy in as far as food production is concerned.
“The ministry will continue to support disaster efforts that are current as well as any in the future,” Mr Saelea said.
By STEPHEN DIISANGO