In remote Baniata village on Rendova Island, deep in the heart of the Solomon Islands, an organic wind of change is blowing.
Villagers set up their PGS for organic certification, and committed to an organic way of life. This change has been inspired by the ngalinut. Ngalinuts, which thrive in Baniata forests, are the lifeblood of the village. They provide nourishment and income, and play an important role in cultural activities.
From the money earned by selling them, ngalinuts send children to school and health centres. Once, they were only sold at Munda, a government station on New Georgia Island, but now they are crossing the ocean to New Caledonia where they are sold
as an organic food item.
For these villagers who take pride in their seas, forests, land, ancestors and the ngalinut, organic certification is opening access to world markets. With PGS, Baniata now has an organic committee chaired by Walter Silvae, and the organic certification is coordinated by the certification manager Haylish Alick. “Our forests are clean & pure. We want to give it to our children in that state. It is our duty. We respect nature and it provides for us” said Walter Silvae
The village also have plans to ensure that villagers enjoy longer term benefits from the ngalinut, such as a school building.
Currently, Baniata children must leave their homes and board at a distant school for their education, and many children do not attend school at all. Over time, ngalinut exports will change that.