Food Security and Asset Creation in Solomon Islands: Gender and the Political Economy of Agricultural Production for Honiara Central Market

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Nichole Georgeou
Charles Hawksley
James Monks
Melinda Ki’i


This article presents data from a 2017 survey of vendors selling fresh produce at the Honiara Central Market (HCM) over a twelve week period from July-September. It aims to understand the economic contribution of vendors to their communities, and in particular of producer-vendors. Detailed geospatial mapping of the origin of produce sold at HCM illustrates the scope of production for market. Data shows that 70 percent of all produce comes from villages on Guadalcanal to the east of Honiara, with intensive production for market also to the West of Honiara, from Central Province (Savo, Nggelas), and important market trade from parts of Malaita, and New Georgia. There is very limited engagement with HCM from Choiseul and Temotu, and none from Makira and Renbel. The data also indicates that the majority of producer-vendors at the HCM are women, and that the average sale of fresh produce on Fridays generates amounts of income higher than the minimum daily wage. We examine these findings using a lens of food security with a focus on asset creation. We show the economic benefit of market selling for women tends to involve lower value crops of leafy greens, nuts, fruits and root vegetables, while men are more dominant in the lucrative cash crops such as melon.

Article Details

Decolonisation: Ripples in the Asia Pacific Special Issue 2019 (Peer Reviewed)
Author Biography

Nichole Georgeou, Western Sydney University

Dr Nichole Georgeou is Director of the Humanitarian and Development Research Initiative (HADRI) and Senior Lecturer, Humanitarian and Development Studies. She holds a PhD in Development Sociology, a Master of Social Change and Development (Research), and a Bachelor of Creative Arts from University of Wollongong (UOW), and has also completed a DipEd at University of Newcastle. Nichole has worked as an aid practitioner in Japan and in Vietnam with UNICEF and various civil society organisations. Her areas of research include: civil society and volunteering for development; Australian aid and development policy; Australian interventions in the Indo-Pacific; and Responsibility to Protect. Nichole is the author of the 2012 study Neoliberalism, Development and Aid Volunteering (Routledge). Her research has been published in Journal of Sociology, Australian Journal of History and Politics, Australian Journal of Political Science, and Voluntas. She is currently completing a book with Dr Charles Hawksley, University of Wollongong, on Police-building and the Responsibility to Protect in Oceania (Routledge), which explores policing assistance to enhance human rights protection within a framework of international development and aid and is based in research conducted in Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.