A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Government of Australia and the Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to align genetic resources, production, and post harvest assistance to mark opportunities for Pacific Islands and Australia for cocoa.
Before the signing ceremony, the Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Sue Langford said the M.O.U. and the programme will start from this year and continue until June 2020.
“I am very pleased to be here today on behalf of the Australian Government and the Australian Counsel for International Agricultural Research to sign this M.O.U. today,” she said.
“This M.O.U. presents a number of opportunities to expand and evaluate further opportunities for cocoa in the pacific industries to expand an increase the value of markets.
“So we are looking at market oriented strategies to exchange and dissemination of cocoa genetics resources, going to evaluate and deploy methods that can intensify cocoa production and develop improves post harvest assistance.
“[And] I’m hoping that this project will have an impact on improving the livelihoods here of the farmers of Samoa.”
The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Laauli Leuatea Polataivao acknowledged the support from the Australian government.
“I would to thank you for your continuous support for the government of Samoa and our people and I believe that this Memorandum Of Understanding this morning will be able to assist us especially with our cocoa crop,” he said.
“I believe that our cocoa crop is one of our crops that will help with our economic development and will focus on helping our cocoa farmers.
“So I would like to convey our thanks for the great assistance and the continuous support from the Australian Government.”