13 October 2016
Prime Minister officially opens agriculture and fisheries show 2016
The agriculture and fisheries show for 2016 was officially opened by Prime Minister, Susuga Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi this morning.
The ceremony at Malaefatu Park, Sogi also included the launch of the Samoa Agriculture Policy Bank.
“The agriculture show’s aim is to show-case the best of agricultural commodities and products that are produced in the agricultural sector,” said the Prime Minister.
There is a healthy competitive edge to the Show, with two categories established to show ‘whole farms and on-farms activities’ and the ‘best agricultural products’.
“The purpose of these competitions is to ensure that the Government, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and all of Samoa are made aware of who the best farmers are in the different categories of farming regardless of whether it’s a crop-farm or livestock-farm,” said Tuilaepa.
The Prime Minister also admitted that this was not a new concept.
“It is based on an old Samoan tradition known as ‘ailao ma folafola’ and it is in that spirit of show-casing the best products for all to view that encourages the farmers and fishers to strive to produce the best quality products for these competition and displays for the public to enjoy.”
The Agriculture show is commemorated together with World Food Day, with the Food Agriculture Organisation’s representative in Apia, Eriko Hibi, delivering a message by the FAO’s Director General from Rome.
Other activities today include the signing by the Prime Minister of the MOU between Samoa and the Breadfruit Institute at the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG), a United States based organisation.
The signing today will continue this agreement originally signed in 2008 for the sale of Samoan breadfruit, in an initiative to respond to critical global food security issues by expanding plantings of good quality breadfruit varieties in tropical regions.
NTBG is designated as Samoa’s agent/representative to distribute Samoan breadfruit varieties globally through cultivaris/global breadfruit, a horticultural partner with growing facilities in California, Europe, and Central America.
The Samoa Agriculture Policy Bank, an online resource, was also launched by the Minister of Agriculture, Laaulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao Schmidt who said it was “an important tool to help raise awareness and promote our agriculture policy, particularly to the farmers. Now farmers have access to mobile phones and internet so they can access this information, and use them as a pathway for change – raising the status of farmers within the community, and also changing the mindset from old methods to new.”