The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries through its Animal Production and Health Division (A.P.H.D.) has launched its Chicken Breeding Facility at the Ministry’s Vaea location.
The $190,000 facility is equipped to assist in running the breeding programme, which the Ministry expects will contribute significantly to the development of a sustainable poultry industry for Samoa.
The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Lopao’o Natanielu Mu’a was on site to officiate the ceremony on behalf of the Government.
In his key note address he noted that the breeding facility is targeted to improve poultry farming standards. Secondly the Minister noted is to also boost production and distribution for the benefit of local farmers. And ultimately the mission is to improve livestock industry and food security efficiencies.
According to Lopao’o, another important component of the programme is aimed at developing new knowledge and experiences which are relevant to increasing quality national stock for production and consumption complemented by accomplishing national food security objectives.
He reiterated that the initiative will directly assist local farmers to recognize new possibilities as well as opportunities within cost effective assistance by M.A.F. in accordance with sustainable development.
The Minister in his remarks also touched on the long term objectives set out by his Ministry as a guideline for this project realizing that as they embark on this journey, they still have a long way to go in order for this programme to come to fruition. “One of the long term objectives of this project is to ensure the achievement of a significant yet realistic programme that realises import substitution.
As you may know, Samoa is one of the largest chicken meat importers amongst the Pacific island countries, with annual imports and associated economic leakage costs, of about 10,000 tonnes of frozen chicken meat products and $20 million tala per annum, over the last 10 years.
It is also important to note that Samoa has less than 500,000 free range chickens at any one time. So we still have a long way to go in our ability to reduce chicken meat imports, however, this is a start.”
The whole building together with its accessories were provided under the funding assistance from the World Bank through the Samoa Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Project (S.A.C.E.P.).
S.A.C.E.P. continues to assist in the development of Agriculture to meet the national economic priority objectives of Samoa’s Development Strategy.