The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, La’auli Leuatea Polataivao, launched the Agricultural Sector Plan (A.S.P) 2016-2020 at the Samoa Cultural village on Friday night.
The aim of the plan is to strengthen government partnerships, particularly with the private sector, Non Governmental Organizations (N.G.Os) and development partners, to leverage agricultures’ potential to promote, enhanced health, prosperity, job creation and resilience.
Minister La’auli said the Plan is an important document in developing the sector.
“The new Agriculture Sector Plan sets out the strategic direction and priority areas to focus resources for agriculture sector development and provides the framework to guide coherent actions from all key stakeholders to improve food, nutrition and income security in Samoa,” he said.
“The new A.S.P. is the culmination of six months work carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture under its mandate as the lead agency for the agriculture Sector.” The Minister said the successful implementation of the plan will contribute to achieving the national vision of ‘Improved Quality of Life for All.’
He added that the primary objective for most Samoan households with small-scale farms is to provide for every day needs. “Increasing their engagement with the market by selling at least some of their produce and buying in some of their inputs – tools, seed, fertilizer, veterinary medicines etc,
“Increased adoption of improved technology embodied in the inputs mentioned as well as machinery, that is, tractors, rock removal equipment,
“Appropriate scale irrigation equipment and technical advice, credit to finance investment and innovation on the farm will all the necessary to sustainably merchandise and commercialize agriculture growth.
In return it is likely that agriculture and fisheries development will create more widespread benefits through additional jobs on farms, in processing industries, retail and the wider economy.
“It will also mean increased availability and access to high quality domestically produced nutritious food at price that our people can afford and thus reduce our current heavy demand on imported food products,
“The new Agriculture Sector Plan 2016-2020 was therefore designed to take account some of the lessons learnt from the first plan,
“I believed we are now have a plan that it is both comprehensive and workable and I look forward to strengthen our partnership with all stakeholders to ensure the implementation of this Plan is successfully delivered.”
La’auli also called on the community for their support to ensure the successful implementation of the plan.