Solomons Company Formed To Offer Scientific Services

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Analytical lab to assist farmers, researchers, schools

By Moffat Mamu

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, April 5, 2016) – A new privately owned company that aims to address issues of research and science studies had been unveiled last week.

Called SPE Analytical, it is a locally owned and operated laboratory to provide the following services, 1 – Soil, plants and water analysis, (2) School Science supplies (3) Research and consulting.

According to the founder, owner and managing director Dr Shane Tutua, SPE Analytical is providing a service of national interest.

"It is providing scientific services that are currently lacking in the country.

"In particularly a laboratory for soil and plant nutrient analysis for farmers and researchers, water analyses for environmental impact assessors and science supplies for schools."

He said, infact many schools around the country do not know how to access science supplies for their science classes that they could not carry out their practicals.

"We want to change that by informing them where they can get their science supplies."

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Forestry and Research Vaeno Vigulu speaking at the occasions said, analytical laboratory is indeed a fundamental asset in any nation and institution for analysis purposes.

"It is important for the results needed to make few decisions based on scientific analysis. Forestry, agriculture and mining sectors to name but a few requires monitoring of environmental factors overtime and space using scientific analyses to check on their disturbances, impacts on the environment to ensure that the environment which human and all living organisms live in is still conducive and beneficial.

"Thus, the ways samples are sampled, prepared and analysed are critical to life and the extent to which forest, agriculture, mining and environmental issues are handled as the results determined has an impact locally and globally," he said.

He highlighted that the world and especially Solomon Islands depend or will depend significantly on evidenced based research and results and the way the results are managed and interpreted for decision making.

"For Solomon Islands, as far as I know most of the samples of soils, plant materials and water are mostly sent overseas to be analysed before results are sent back because we don’t have enough analytical laboratories and specialists in country.

"It may take 3 to 6 weeks or even a year for the samples to be received, prepared and analysed and results being sent back.

"Many times analyses overseas are expensive and time consuming. Sometimes samples and analysed not to the standard we want and from our reach to advise them accordingly."

Mr Vigulu said, the SPE Analytical laboratory equipment/instruments currently in used were partly funded by the ACIAR – (Australia Centre for International Agricultural Research) Forestry Project which operates in collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry and Research.

"Part of the assistance was purposely to equip SPE Analytical to provide scientific analysis comparable to the overseas laboratory but accessed easily."

SPE Analytical laboratory will commence providing soil, plants and water analytical services as of this month, he added.

"These services are important and relevant to the three ministries of forestry, agriculture and climate change activities for production, monitoring and research purposes.

"Schools and universities in the country will also have access to the analytical equipment and instruments available for various elements analyses."

He said, the challenge of the government ministries now is to use the services to fulfil their roles and responsibilities.

The PS also commended Dr Shane Tutua as of the highly qualified Solomon Islanders who has used is expertise to serve the country.

He also acknowledged the assistance rendered by the Australian government through ACIAR and Griffith University for supporting the project.

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