Agriculture in Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands archipelago is part of two distinct terrestrial eco-regions. Most of the islands are part of the Solomon Islands rain forests eco-region, which also includes the islands of Bougainville and Buka; these forests have come under pressure from forestry activities. The Santa Cruz Islands are part of the Vanuatu rain forests ecoregion, together with the neighbouring archipelago of Vanuatu. Soil quality ranges from extremely rich volcanic (there are volcanoes with varying degrees of activity on some of the larger islands) to relatively infertile limestone. More than 230 varieties of orchids and other tropical flowers brighten the landscape. The islands contain several active and dormant volcanoes. The Tinakula and Kavachi volcanoes are the most active.

Through much of the 20th century, under British colonial rule, Solomon Islands represented a classic example of a plantation economy, with coconut production being the primary activity of both village smallholders (individual farmers) and large-scale expatriate (foreign) plantation owners. For village producers, the production of copra (dried flesh of coconuts) is still an important source of cash, and several large coconut plantations are still operating. As a source of export income, coconut products have steadily declined since the 1960s. During the 1990s, a number of coconut oil presses were installed in various parts of the country, and this has increased the value of this product.

For many years, government and international aid donors have sponsored initiatives to diversify the agricultural base of both smallholder and large-scale farmers by promoting the production of cocoa as a new crop. In 1998, cocoa comprised about 5 percent of export income. Also moderately successful has been the production of chilies, mostly at the village level. Fishing is an important activity at 3 different levels: subsistence production (production that only meets the immediate needs of the producer), small-scale cash fishing, and the large-scale offshore fishing industry. Small-scale cash fishing is most successful near urban markets, especially Honiara.

Discover Solomon Islands - Dried Cocoa Beans

National FO’s

  • Baetolau Farmers Association –
    Malaita Province, Solomon Islands
  • Kastom Gaden Association (KGA) –
    PO Box 742, Honiara, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands
    Tel: +677 39 551
    Contact Person: Clement Hadosaia
    Position: Manager
  • Lodurimata Farmers Association
  • Nut Growers Association of Solomon Islands
  • Planting Material Network
  • West Arosi Farmers Association (WAFA)

Blog Updates

January 29, 2015

Introducing Kastom Gaden Association (KGA)

Kastom Gaden Association (KGA) was established as a charitable trust in 2000. It grew out of a five-year programme of an Australian NGO focussed on providing […]

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