Women farmers and entrepreneurs have been encouraged to champion Samoa’s farming industry.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said yesterday this at the launch of a two-day national forum for women in agriculture, horticulture and agribusiness.
A first of its kind in Samoa, Tuilaepa said the initiative by the Samoa Farmers Association and the Pacific Island Farmer Organization Network confirms the availability of opportunities for women in agribusiness and floriculture sectors in Samoa.
“As we all know family farming forms the core of small holder agriculture systems in our country and the enhancement and combination of these family efforts can indeed contribute to the production of quality food ingredients, that can efficiently supply our own food supplements as well as those of the tourism and the hospitality industry,” Tuilaepa said.
“Our women have shown resilience and continued to show ways to contribute and participate productively to the growth of our economy and the quality of our lifestyles through valuable work in our families, villages and churches.”
He said the involvement of women in the agriculture industry has increased over the years and their contributions are enormous.
“We see this through the Samoa Women Association of Growers. Such contributions work towards the achieving of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular for food security and improvement of nutrition as well as equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”
Urging the participants to capitalize on the opportunities that come with such a forum, the Prime Minister said it was time for them to share their experiences and success stories.
“Share your experience and successes and raise issues to the forefront that will allow your efforts to continually support you in your respective fields. Farming networks exist in the Pacific and the world."
“Empowerment of women in Samoa is not new. You are in your own right leaders of this country. I open this forum today (yesterday) knowing that you will lead the way for all our women in Samoa both young and matured in your fields of agriculture, floriculture and agribusiness.”