1 Aug 2006

Solomon Islands government to pursue rural financing options

3:14 pm on 1 August 2006

The Solomon Islands Minister for National Planning says the government is to aggressively pursue the development of rural sector financing.

Gordon Darcy Lilo says this follows the cabinet approving the strategic framework for rural development which the government promised to focus on when it came to power.

He says logically it is the only way to go because 85 percent of the population live in the rural areas and that is where most of the resources are.

Mr Lilo says they want to see a policy in place that encourages the development of agricultural, fisheries and tourism.

"We are looking at the possibility of the commercial bank to provide rural financing to communities that have been able to organise themselves to a point of commercial maturity. At the same time, government and the donors will be encouraged to look at some kind of provision of rural financing including saving scheme, credit union movement and so forth."

Mr Lilo says there will also be a focus on improving transportation in order to open rural areas up, including roading, shipping and airline links.