Samoa Agri-Industry contributes to Policy Setting at ACP
Agriculture industry representatives from Samoa participated in a two-day symposium to discuss the new ACP Group Strategy on Support for the Agricultural Commodities Sector in Brussels, Belgium. The objective of the policy document is to provide synergy in approaches and assistance to the ACP Group so that greater impact in the transformation of the agricultural commodities sector in the ACP regions can be made. The Symposium was held on 23rd – 24th February 2017 at the ACP House.
During the workshop Samoa’s representatives shared the challenges of farming in a Pacific Small Island Developing State which includes the loss of crops and markets due to erratic weather conditions; uncompetitive prices in the global market due to geographical isolation and distance from major markets and sustaining the labour supply for farming by engaging the interest of youth in the agriculture sector.
The representatives called for greater investments to support the integration of ICT into agribusiness initiatives particularly those which can help map out and improve data collection and communication with rural farmers, as highlighted by the experience of Women in Business Development Incorporated (WIBDI) and their Farm Wallet app. Secondly, they emphasized the need for financing support that focuses on productive capacities to help farmers progress along the value chain. Thirdly, they called for the accessibility of finance to be made less restrictive for private sector companies in the agribusiness to tap into.
The outcomes of the discussions will inform the review of the ACP Group Strategy draft for subsequent endorsement by the Committee of Ambassadors.
Samoa was represented by Mr Tuilagi James Bartley, General Manager of Pacific Oil and member of the Samoa Association Manufactures and Exporters, Mrs Alberta Malielegaoi – Vitale, Associate Director of WIBDI and staff of the Samoa Embassy in Brussels.