The Samoa Cocoa Industry Development Initiative (S.C.I.D.I.) funded by the New Zealand government, had a very busy week last week.
The Samoa Cocoa Industry Association (S.C.I.A.) Establishment Committee met for the first time to discuss the incorporation timetable and the future scope for S.C.I.A.
The meeting was attended by representatives from all the government Ministries involved in cocoa industry governance, as well representatives from the Farmers Associations on Upolu and Savaii, S.R.O.S, S.T.E.C, the shipping industry, S.A.M.E, chocolate manufacturers and representatives from the New Zealand High Commission.
The meeting was facilitated by Samoa Chamber of Commerce C.E.O. Lemauga Hobart Va’ai, with S.C.I.D.I. Project Director, Dr. Hans Maurer presenting the case for going ahead with the formation of the Industry Association.
At the end of the discussions, M.C.I.L. representative, Aufa’i Fulisia Saleuesile, reaffirmed the Samoan government’s support for S.C.I.D.I. and the formation of S.C.I.A.
The next step will be a one day workshop held in late October where the Establishment Committee members will come together and develop S.C.I.A’s constitution.
In addition to advancing the technical aspects of the nursery and tree survey projects with S.T.E.C. and Skyeye, the S.C.I.D.I. team also ran two half day practical cocoa farm management workshops, one each on Upolu and Savai’i.
The focus was on planting techniques for young cocoa trees and pest and disease management for mature cocoa trees. The workshops were well received and were the first of several that will be offered by S.C.I.D.I. as the projects gather pace.
The workshops were managed by Dr. Nick Roskruge from Massey University, supported by Faapoi Tofa Sua from The AgriChain Centre.