The Solomon Islands is made up of around 1,000 islands in the south-west Pacific. Placing second in the UN’s World Risk Index, its location in the Pacific Rim of Fire makes it very vulnerable to natural disasters. Climate change is exacerbating these risks. Eighty per cent of the country’s 650,000 inhabitants live in rural, at-risk coastal areas with limited access to electricity, roads, and services.
The country’s small rural economy relies on rich natural resources, including minerals, timber and fish. Yet these resources have failed to enable the majority of people to raise their incomes. Agriculture—including crops, livestock, inshore fishing and forestry—accounts for 70 per cent of total employment.
Low incomes and a heavy reliance on imported rice, noodles and flour has contributed to poor diets and nutrition. Despite producing much of their own food in subsistence gardens, households consume less than half the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables.
The Solomon Islands emerged from a period of civil conflict in 2003. While the basic functions of government have been restored and long-term development planning has begun, state institutions and infrastructure still require significant strengthening.
IFAD works with the government and partners to invest in communities, revitalise agriculture, and contribute to the well-being and prosperity of all Solomon Islanders.
Reflecting the government’s ten-year Agriculture Sector Growth and Investment Plan, IFAD’s work in the Solomon Islands will focus on:
- improving the productivity, sustainability, and resilience of smallholder farming;
- providing nutrition education to combat malnutrition;
- helping smallholder farmers access agricultural technology and information;
- linking smallholder farmers to markets.
To achieve these outcomes, smallholder farmers need access to improved agricultural technologies, good quality inputs, post-harvest operations, and nutritional information. IFAD supports the government and private sector to design and deliver advisory services tailored to the needs of smallholder farmers, with a focus on the needs of youth and women.
- There are 70 living languages in the Solomon Islands.
- 39 percent of the population is aged between 1 and 14 years.
- At current harvesting rates, timber resources in the Solomon Islands will be exhausted in 10-20 years.