Project to benefit rural families one step closer to becoming a reality

A multi-stakeholder mission team led by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (I.F.A.D.) has wrapped up its two-week mission to initiate the design of the Farming as a Business (F.A.B.) project in Samoa.

The F.A.B. project is responding to the Government of Samoa’s request to I.F.A.D. to strengthen its engagement in support of the Government’s Strategy for the Development of Samoa 2016-2020 and its Agriculture Sector Plan 2016-2020. 

The project, which is expected to benefit up to 7,000 rural families living on the island of Savai’i, has a strong emphasis on building climate resilience into both production systems and through the value chain. 

The mission team held discussions with senior government officials of the Ministries of Agriculture and Fisheries, Finance and Women, Community and Social Development, farmers’ organisations, agri-businesses, potential project financial providers, sister UN food agencies the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the World Bank, and other international and bilateral agency partners. 

The mission also visited the island of Savai’i to witness firsthand the different farming systems, crop processing methods and farm-gate marketing, and discussed opportunities for project intervention with the farmers, both men and women.

A key innovative feature of this project is its overall emphasis on strengthening agriculture in Samoa away from vicious cycles of environmental degradation, economic dependence and vulnerability to climate change, towards virtuous circles of functional crop diversification, soil and water conservation, effective management of waste streams, food preservation, and other actions that build climate resilient farming systems.

The mission team was led by Tawfiq El Zabri, I.F.A.D. Country Programme Manager for Asia and the Pacific, and Sakiusa Tubuna, I.F.A.D. Pacific Sub-Regional Coordinator. 

The F.A.B. project is expected to be implemented in 2019.

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