The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the tourism sector in the Solomon Islands are interested in linking agriculture and tourism through cuisine.

In a workshop recently, MAL and development partners highlighted the role of chefs in combining agriculture and tourism, adding that this should be included in the agritourism policy.

Chef Colin Chung, renowned across the Pacific for his skills and advocacy for local sourcing, explained the opportunities for food tourism in the Solomon Islands.

Mr Chung said there has been successful stories about the significance of chefs’ role across the Pacific, especially Fiji, towards agriculture and tourism.

“In addition to supports the diversification of the tourism offering of the country, culinary tourism can also stimulate demand for local foods and products from farmers.

“One big challenge that the Solomon Islands will have to address is the capacity gap in the food service industry, as the country currently has just a few professional Chefs.”

Staff from Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau Mrs Freda Unisi said, “Tourists want a taste of our local organic foods in their short visits, but with our lack of professional chefs, there’s no local set menu’s to be marketed to our visitors.”

She hoped the Agritourism Policy would take this into account.

CTA, SPTO and PIPSO are supporting capacity development of chefs across the region and promoting the exchange of experiences and best practices through their Chefs for Development platform.

CTA Manager and Coordinator Isolina Boto said, “We believe that professional chefs can be great promoters of local food and cuisine, and also work with farmers to improve the quality of food needed by hotels and restaurants.”