Late in 2018, I visited my family and community at Waimarae in Makira, where we have long term plans working with the community to protect the Leatherback turtles who come to nest on the local beach and also running a successful community association to sustainably meet the needs of the local smallholder farming families, which includes a cacao fermentary, research centre and cacao homestay.
I have a vision for Solomon Islands rural communities for local community associations that are strong on local conservation and biodiversity but also support sustainable smallholder farming for supporting rural livelihoods and have linkages to local and international NGOs for meeting health and other needs that are not being met by Solomon Islands Government services. I believe we have strong potential and opportunity through partnerships that have been developed/in progress to showcase this model over the next 10 years.
With me for this trip was Gabriel from Grainpro, who came along for a joint project between Makira Gold and Grainpro to work with us to produce a short farmer’s video on some of the work we are doing.
The video narrative explains how our late Uncle Barnabas was the founder of our vision and is the inspiration that keeps us going even now more than 20 years after his sudden passing. To honour his wisdom and the legacy he left for us, we have established and continue with our community association “Biana Bana”, which means Roots of Bana (Barnabas) in local Arosi language.
I am very happy to share with you the video here.