A team from Tokelau experienced firsthand Samoa Biosecurity measures as part of a training workshop held last week in Apia.
The team consisted of members from the Department of Economic Development Natural Resources and Environment (E.D.N.R.E.) who travelled from Tokelau to attend the workshop.
“Tokelau faces challenges to increase local food production for food and nutrition security. Agricultural production in Tokelau is relatively small as it comprises of food crops and small livestock but is important to the livelihood of its people,” said F.A.O. Subregional Coordinator, Eriko Hibi in her opening address.
“I travelled to each atoll recently and was able to witness the impacts of invasive species and future risks.”
The workshop was conducted in partnership with the Samoa Quarantine Service and the Pacific Community (S.P.C.).
The team were guided by staff from the Samoa Quarantine Service to see firsthand measures in place at-border biosecurity at seaport/airport inspection processes at the wharf in Matautu and Fagali’i Airport. They also observed container hygiene system inspections and pest surveillance.
The training is part of the larger project funded by the Food and Agriculture of the United Nations (F.A.O.) to strengthen the capacity in home gardening, healthy food awareness and effective biosecurity for Tokelau.
A recent Land Use Plan consultation for Tokelau, funded by F.A.O., highlighted findings on constraints to increasing domestic agriculture production in Tokelau. Poor soil fertility, quarantine issues, lack of appropriate sustainable crop production, soil management technologies for farmers to increase local production of food and limited resources greatly restrain any economic development of the country.
F.A.O. through this project will provide the necessary technical assistance and support to the Government of Tokelau in strengthening the capacity of the EDNRE, Island councils, and households to enhance food security and improve health/diet through revitalization of the family home and home-gardens.
The project will be implemented in close collaboration with other partners like the New Zealand Government, the Government of Samoa, S.P.C., U.S.P., Pacific Biosecurity and S.P.R.E.P.