|The expense of operating outboard motor boats means that visits to each community are few and far between.
In December 2008, I spent two and a half days traveling around the Solomon Islands
with officers from the government’s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, which is implementing components of the World Bank’s Rural Development Program
(RDP) in Western Province. Jointly funded by the EU and Australia, RDP is the World Bank’s biggest project in Solomon Islands.
In December, the project was just beginning to get going in the provinces. The agriculture workers were looking to the RDP to help restore agriculture extension services. Practically speaking, this means purchasing small boats, outboard motors, fuel, or rehabilitation of offices. At the Ag offices, I was told about the series of dead outboard boat motors lining one wall – including provenance and whatever series of incidents had rendered them inoperable.