President's Day & World Food Day
President's Day and World Food Day were celebrated on the 18th of November at Delap Park, where activities such as a walkathon, parade of floats, compost demonstration, cooking demonstration, Urok & Billfish Tournament, cooking competition, giveaway of local seedlings by the Ministry of NRC, Biggest Root Crops Award, and more commenced.
Preceding to the President’s Day and World Food Day activities held the opening ceremony, where Minister Alfred Alfred, Jr. delivered his remarks on World Food Day. Minister Alfred spoke on World Food Day coinciding with President’s Day and acknowledged the late President Iroijlaplap Amata Kabua. He shared that one of the late President Kabua’s visions included food security for the Marshall Islands. He went into further detail on the importance of food security and the efforts the local government has made in strengthening the development of food security. He explained the theme for World Food Day which was “Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development.” He stated that to prevent residents from migrating, it is important to invest in food security and development in the outer islands. These are challenges that are addressed in the Agenda 2020 Framework, under Challenge 8: Improving the welfare of outer island communities.
ROC/Taiwan President Ing-wen Tsai and delegation visits One Islands, One Product Exhibition and Launch of Intelligent Environment Control Greenhouse and Eco-Friendly Pig house
On October 31st 2017, the Ministry of Natural Resources & Commerce Alfred Alfred Jr. and College of the Marshall Islands President Dr. Theresa Koroivulaono welcomed President Hilda Heine, President Ing-wen Tsai and President Tsai’s delegation to the One Island, One Product Exhibition during her state visit. President Tsai and her delegation were able to view handicrafts, a traditional Marshallese canoe model, local food, and other local innovative products.
Following the One Island, One Product Exhibition was the launch of the the Intelligent Environment Control Greenhouse and Eco-Friendly Pig house held at Laura Farm. During the opening ceremony, Ambassador Tang expressed that the presence of both presidents at the launch shows the value of the bilateral relations between the RMI and Taiwan. He added that the Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) has worked with the people of the RMI for nearly 20 years, and will continue to work with the Ministry of NRC to create projects that will fit the needs of the people of the RMI. On behalf of the people and the government of the RMI, Minister Alfred gave his remarks calling both projects a necessary balance between agriculture development and environmental protection. He stated the facilities’ concept of zero waste and zero carbon emissions is the first of its kind in the RMI. He shared of his visit to one of RMI’s biggest farms, Bikej Farm in Bikej, Kwajalein, revealing that Bikej Farm is also working towards becoming a zero-waste farm with support from TTM. Minister Alfred expressed his gratitude to TTM and stated that the Ministry of NRC will continue to work alongside them.
One Island, One Product
The ‘One Island One Product’ concept is an initiative by the RMI Cabinet, to try and get community involvement from each of the RMI Atoll. The key target is to encourage them create a proper business atmosphere to generate economic activities within their communities. The concept is to allow each Atoll to produce its product in a manner which can be attractive and commercially sold to overseas markets (including locally).
Each of RMI Atoll has got its own unique way of producing a product which can be branded as originating from that island.
The RMI Government will set aside a budget to support the “One Island One Product “concept. A whole of Government approach including stakeholders and communities need to be involved. The Cabinet is planning to launch the concept by May 1st, 2016 in Majuro where a week long Trade Show will be opened to each Atoll to show their products. At the end of the Trade show, Recommendations will be proposed to Cabinet on the best of the products from each of the Atoll. This is where the‘One Island One Product’ Theme will be selected and the best product from each island can be the one that will be natured or sponsored for local & external export opportunity. The ‘One Island One Product’ will be a major Local Trade show event to be executed on an annual basis as this will strengthen the drive by local producers to produce local products that can reduce the impact of imports into RMI.
Virgin Coconut Oil Workshop
On May 2-5 2017, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Commerce and Tobolar Copra Processing Authority organized a virgin coconut oil workshop with VCO and quality control chemist, Divina Bawalan. This workshop is a part of the Ministry of NRC and Tobolar's aim to transition from low valued crude coconut oil to high valued virgin coconut oil.