Uniting farmers, buyers

The Chamber of Commerce and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (F.A.O) continue to promote contract farming as a means to coordinate links between farmers and agribusiness firms.

Following the successful workshops held in 2015 to promote contract farming, F.A.O and the Chamber held a training workshop on design and analysis of farming contracts yesterday.

The workshop was facilitated by Carlos da Silva, Professor of Agro-industrial Economics and Management from the Federal University of Viçosa, in Brazil. 

“The workshops last year were very successful,” said Professor da Silva. “People who were unable to participate last year are attending the workshop this year.” 

Farm leaders, agribusiness executives, and development practitioners are participating in the event. 

“Contract farming is one of the proven mechanisms that can be promoted to improve efficiency and inclusiveness in transforming food and agriculture systems,” said Professor da Silva.

In simple terms, contract farming is an agreement, which establishes conditions between a buyer and farmers for the production and marketing of a farm product or products. 

Under contract farming, producers commit to the future delivery of farm products to a buyer under agreed specifications that can include prices, production technologies, quality characteristics and production delivery dates, among other mutually agreed conditions.  

In theory, the agreement should be mutually beneficial to a buyers and farmers. 

It should promote agricultural production and guarantee a secure market for the products, thereby allowing farmers to earn increased revenue and buyers to obtain a return on their investments.

Chamber representative, Savave Sapolu, opened the workshop.  

“We are happy to see many in attendance today. The Samoa Chamber of Commerce, as the national private sector organisation of Samoa, looks forward to continue our partnership with F.A.O to enhance more opportunities for the private sector of Samoa.”

F.A.O Agribusiness Junior Professional Officer, Shukrullah Sherzard, said the workshops are designed to improve the capacity of local farmers.

“Through F.A.O projects we aim to improve the capacity of farmers to market a consistent supply of safe, quality food. One of the outputs of this project is to facilitate improved farmer linkages to market though the adoption of service contracts,” said Sherzard.

In-the-field training workshops will also be held in the coming days so both farmers and agro-processors will receive one-to-one training.

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