The Komiti a Tina Tulivae of Samatau had every reason to be proud of their concerted efforts to implement their organic farming project in partnership with the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.
With the financial grant received from the U.N.D.P. Global Environment Facility (G.E.F.) Small Grants Programme (S.G.P.), the President of the Women’s Committee Ms. Aumua Karolaine Taulealo Ane humbly expressed their appreciation and gratitude to the G.E.F.-S.G.P. for the grant received to implement their agro-ecology project. She proudly added that they have managed to sell their first harvest of cabbages, lettuce, and tomatoes to the neighboring village of Manono.
The main goal of this project is to enhance resilience to climate change through good farming practices and modern techniques. The project fits in well with the Operational Phase 6 of the G.E.F. Small Grants Programme Outcome 1 on Environmental Management, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management. One of the key outputs of the project is to provide a stable and steady seasonal supply of vegetables for the community and to generate incomes from the sale of harvested crops.
While the project addresses the issue of climate change and its impact on farming, it also covers the introduction of modern farming mechanisms to combat prolonged drought and heavy rain which are the main problems in the development of small farmers in the village.
Contributing factors such as vulnerability to strong winds, high tides, and coastal erosions that affect the supply of crops are part of the climate change expertise and knowledge sharing provided by M.A.F.
As part of its public awareness and advocacy campaign, the National Steering Committee Chair Ms. Anne Rasmussen paid compliments to the Crops Division team of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries for introducing suitable modern farming techniques to this project. Regular agricultural trainings onsite and workshops have been provided by M.A.F. under the technical guidance and supervision of Mr. Tuuamalii Tommy Tuuamalii.
“The idea is to encourage more young people to choose farming as a viable career path and get more youth to be involved in farming. More importantly, to encourage senior village leaders to allow young people to become more actively involved in farming.”
S.G.P. National Coordinator Lilomaiava Filifilia Iosefa highly recommended the hands-on technical trainings provided by Mr. Tuumaalii. “It has added a lot of value to the successful implementation of this agro-ecology project and other similar G.E.F.-S.G.P. implemented projects in Savaii and Upolu. We are very grateful to the C.E.O. Mr. Leatiogie Tilafono David Hunter for this genuine partnership and excellent support from the Ministry of Agriculture.”
Since December 2017, Mr. Tuuamaalii and his team have completed five hands-on practical trainings and workshops for the Komiti a Tina Tulivae of Samatau. To help implement these technical trainings, the World Bank S.A.C.E.P. project has kindly supported the M.A.F. team to deliver the training programs every two weeks for the next 3 months until they are successfully completed.
Established in 1992, the G.E.F. Small Grants Programme (S.G.P.) embodies the very essence of sustainable development by "thinking globally, acting locally". S.G.P. demonstrates that community action can maintain the fine balance between human needs and environmental imperatives, by providing financial and technical support to projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people's well-being and livelihoods.
The programme provides grants of up to 50,000 U.S.D. directly to local communities (including community-based organizations and other non-governmental groups) since these primary stakeholders are most at risk due to their strong de-pendency on access to natural resources for their livelihoods and often live in fragile ecosystems.