The Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa (S.R.O.S.) will not be privatised.
Contrary to media reports, the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Seuseu Tauati, told the Sunday Samoan yesterday the government has no plans to privatize the organisation.
“We are not going to privatise S.R.O.S., what we are doing at the moment is looking to commercialise our value added products,” he said.
The C.E.O. visited the Samoa Observer yesterday to clarify the matter after a story from the Office of the Press Secretary quoted the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Laaulialemalietoa Leuatea Schmidt, that S.R.O.S. “could become privately owned.”
But Dr. Seuseu said the Minister was referring to commercialising their researched products.
According to Dr. Seuseu, it has been 10 years since S.R.O.S. was established. As a research organization, that will not change.
“This is our mandate to conduct research and we have no intention of privatizing.”
He added that S.R.O.S.’s objective is to develop value added products.
“Our value added products include breadfruit flower, avocado oil. We’ve also got the production of essential oils made from a range of local flowers."
“In addition to that, we also provide services which include chemical, physical and biological analysis where foods are brought in to be tested."
“We are accredited and so we follow New Zealand guidelines. We are internationally recognized for our services.
“We also do a lot of post harvest activities, which includes assisting our agricultural produce to meet the import requirements and also be able to transported through the long distances between Samoa and the imported countries.”
He said they were able to do that with the research of frozen taro, which is currently being exported to New Zealand and Australia.
According to the S.R.O.S C.E.O, the organisation has been looking for partners in efforts for them to take on the products they have researched.
“Over the years, they have not signed up a company and Cabinet has directed S.R.O.S to commercialise these [value added] products.
“The keyword here is to commercialise these products. This is has nothing to do with commercialising S.R.O.S. We belong to the government and it’s a government research facility.”
He further explained that they want to commercialise the added value products so the business community can see the growth potential.