Importers should understand the needs of local farmers and sell quality seeds at affordable prices.
The Chairman of Samoa Farmers Association (S.F.A.) and Pacific Islands Farmer Organizations Network (P.I.F.O.N.), Afamasaga Tole’afoa, said this recently at a workshop convened at the China-Samoa Agricultural Technical Aid Project (C.S.A.T.A.P.) headquarters at Nu’u.
The workshop is part of efforts to assist local farmers access quality seeds for their plantations.
“This is part of an ongoing effort, it will not end here, we hope to continue, and we do this to start off by bringing together farmers, organisations, and importers, retailers of seeds,” he said.
“We think that importers should understand the needs of farmers. What they think should be done to get quality seeds, not only supply quality seeds but also prices.
“The importance of these seeds to the farmers is the quality, seeds that will grow well and bear fruits well whether it’s vegetables or not. The high yielding seeds or healthy seeds, those are not susceptible to diseases and resist pests and that is quality seeds.”
Working with the farmers through such a workshop will have long-term benefits for the national economy, as Toleafoa is confident it will result in consumers having access to quality produce.
“This is going to be a continuous workshop and we hope that at the end of this workshop, there would be great understanding between importers, retailers and farmers,” he added.
The S.F.A. works closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (M.A.F.), which researches and identifies best seeds for the farmers.
Toleafoa said the work of the P.I.F.O.N. is supported by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (I.F.A.D.), which has also provided funding for the seeds workshop.
“It all started with S.F.A being a member P.I.F.O.N. which is a regional organisation comprised of nine countries in the Pacific region.
P.I.F.O.N. works with International Fund for Agriculture Development (I.F.A.D.), which is a funding organization that provides funding to Pacific farmers through P.I.F.O.N – because we are a member of P.I.F.O.N., every year we are asked on how the funds are spent, activities and initiatives that they will provide funding for and this seeds workshop is part of it,” he said.
They are also working with the C.S.A.T.A.P. with Toleafoa thanking the project for their generosity, in terms of having access to the facility.