Solomon Islands has a population of approximately 528,000, and 76 per cent of the people live in rural areas. The country is emerging from a period of civil conflict, known as the Tensions, which had a profoundly harmful impact on the economy.
Law and order were restored in 2003 following interventions by the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, led by Australia. Progress has been made in re-establishing the basic functions of government, and the country is moving from post-conflict reconstruction to long-term development planning.
The country has a small rural economy that relies on rich natural resources. Yet these resources have failed to enable the majority of the rural population to raise their incomes.
Rural livelihoods remain largely dependent on semi-subsistence agriculture, fisheries and forestry, in addition to informal, small-scale economic activities. The rural-urban income gap is significant, and it contributed to the Tensions, combined with interisland migration.
Climate change is heightening the vulnerability of Solomon Islands, which like other Pacific islands has limited natural resources. The country seeks to address climate change issues in agriculture while assisting smallholders to generate income.
IFAD's strategy in Solomon Islands, as throughout the Pacific Islands, is centred on building partnerships. Since 2013 we have doubled the amount of resources for projects undertaken with partners for the Pacific, from around US$7.5 million to over US$15 million.
IFAD investments in the country are focused on helping rural people produce local food crops, especially indigenous and traditional foods. This support responds to both climate change and nutrition issues.
In Solomon Islands, IFAD concentrates on:
- providing more of its own financial resources for joint investment partnerships with the private sector;
- attracting new partners and additional financing to agriculture and rural development;
- helping beneficiaries access technology and knowledge from our partners in other regions;
- facilitating dialogue and joint initiatives in the agriculture sector.
The 528,000 people living in Solomon Islands are scattered over 90 islands and are distant from neighbouring countries. People often live in remote areas with limited access to land, and thus lack opportunities to earn a viable income from agriculture.
More than three quarters (76 per cent) of the population of Solomon Islands is rural (as of 2018) and largely dependent on semi-subsistence agriculture, fisheries, forestry, and informal small-scale economic activities.