Farmers are critical to regional plans, Minister Lopao'o says
The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries has appealed to regional heads of agriculture and forestry services not to forget their farmers when making regional plans.
Lopao'o Natanielu Mua made the appeal during the opening of the 6th regional meeting of Heads of Agriculture and Forestry Services (H.OA.F.S.) hosted at T.A.T.T.E. conference room on Tuesday.
The meeting is one of the main events for the Pacific Week of Agriculture (P.W.A.) and its goal is discussing results and outcomes discussed in the inaugural regional meeting in Vanuatu in 2017 to design the next plan of actions and expected favourable results for the next biennial meeting in 2021.
“The aim of your meeting is to strengthen and deepen partnerships for sustainable development in our Pacific Region,” he said.
“Therefore, I urge you to have the implementers and farmers in mind when you are discussing the main objectives or expected favourable results and outcomes, that must be written and telling a simple story of your plan of actions for implementation by them, and producing favourable outcomes over the next two years when we shall meet again for the next P.W.A. in H.O.A.F.S. in 2021.”
He added that it is significant to have farmers in mind when you deliberating about setting objectives to: establish consensus on the priorities for attaining resilience and improved food and nutrition security in our region.
“In Vanuatu, we discussed the assistance of Pacific Community (S.P.C.) Land Resources Division map out opportunities for discussions at an H.O.A.F.S. meeting.
“And this is the beginning of those efforts to identify real concerns, and map thematic areas for sustainable development, that will specifically revitalize partnerships with stakeholders, by sharing comprehensive or simple information on progress and results of recent and current actions, in order to highlight existing and establish new partnerships within common initiatives of interest.
“The P.W.A. provides a forum for S.P.C. member countries to express their development concerns and longer term development aspirations, and assess how the S.P.C. Land Resources Division with its development allies could be an effective service provider.”
Lopaoo said that providing an opportunity for member countries to assess and determine the relevance of Land Resources Division’s cross-cutting integrated programs, as highlighted in the Business Plan for the period 2019 to 2023.
“Ensure that the stakeholders know what those are and also reveal the development framework that will effectively guide the active agents and implementers with real goals that can be monitored and evaluated to register achievable results and returns on government and development partner investments.
“You have already identified some of these in development programmes such as:
Pacific Seeds for Life; Achieving Land Degradation Neutrality; Coconuts for Pacific Livelihoods; Integrated Climate Smart Agriculture; Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture Program; Sanitation and Phytosanitary standards and Biosecurity; and, Integrated Pest Management.”
He said that it is important that the stakeholders and active agents in the field understand the science of how all these, can achieve the favourable results from planning, planting, protecting until effective harvesting and delivery completes the production and consumption cycle.
“We are aware of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are relevant to Agriculture and Forestry, and the United Nations continues to monitor and evaluate targeted progress towards the achievement of favourable outcomes by the year 2030. I trust that your discussions will also focus on these United Nations Agenda 2030 which in short or long is:
“The establishment of institutional and knowledge management platforms, to support a people-centred and rights-based approach, for an efficient production and consumption level, of safe and nutritious domestic agricultural and forest products, that employ sustainable and climate-smart land management practices, that promote increased trade of diverse, safe and healthy agricultural products contributing to our food security, and sustainable livelihoods of our Pacific communities.”
The Minister also acknowledged S.P.C., Food and Agriculture Organization (F.A.O.) and our development partners, for their continuous technical assistance and financial support, towards the sustainable management of our agriculture and forestry resources in the Pacific.