Samoa Agriculture and Fisheries Show 2019 opens
The annual Samoa Agriculture and Fisheries Show 2019 opened on Wednesday at the Malaefatu Park with agricultural and fisheries produce from within and outside the country going on public display.
The show will run for three days and is part of the Pacific Week of Agriculture program, with leaders and officials in the agriculture sector from 28 Pacific nations and territories meeting in Samoa to discuss regional plans for the future.
The week's official program also focuses on discussing major challenges facing agriculture, fisheries and forestry and is organised by the Samoan Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (M.A.F.) in collaboration with Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (F.A.O.) and the Pacific Community (S.P.C.).
Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Fiame Naomi Mataafa, said that the theme for the show is the enhancement of partnerships to sustainably develop agriculture and forestry systems in the Pacific.
She said that the Pacific region this year has been assisted by the collaborative support and sponsorship of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (F.A.O.) and the Pacific Community (SPC).
“And also my own Government through the M.A.F, the M.N.R.E., the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa as the leading government agencies,” she added.
The Deputy P.M. said it is their hope that the week's program will deepen the sharing of regional agricultural expertise and advice on technologies, which will benefit stakeholders and sustain the development of agriculture.
“In doing this, we have the opportunity to share information, expertise and knowledge on breakthrough efforts and research by various key participating stakeholders in side events held this week, as well as business enterprises in import substitution and exports," she added.
“When a country rates highly in possessing excellent food and nutrition security, then it is a country that is regarded as having a contented people, a happy people and therefore regarded a prosperous nation.
“However, over consumption of food can also be challenging and therefore must progress simultaneously with a stellar Health Development Framework.
“Who in their right mind in the Pacific does not enjoy food? Food is served everywhere in our countries and it is perhaps, the most enjoyable part of our social gatherings, cultural or otherwise.”
The Deputy P.M. also appealed for discussions to focus on healthy nutrition to build healthy Pacific peoples for which future national plans will affirm and depend.
She said that the Government of Samoa is committed to in strengthening the "enhancement of partnerships to sustainably develop agriculture and forestry systems in the Pacific”
“It is a statement that promotes both a sense of commitment and ownership amongst all stakeholders at the national, regional and international levels to achieve the common goal of progressing agriculture and forestry development in a sustainable manner before the next biennial meeting in 2021.
“Our Pacific Islands Forum Leaders have reaffirmed climate change as the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific.
“Our leaders also spoke of the impacts of climate change on our countries, in particular Small Island developing States at the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly debate last week.”
She encouraged farmers and fishers, to maintain their perseverance to achieve their goals, and the Government will provide support within capacity to building to enhance and sustain our established common goals.
Samoa also celebrated World Food Day two weeks early which is annually celebrated around the world on 16 October.
Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific of F.A.O., Kundhavi Kadiresan said that World Food Day is celebrated every year in order to promote worldwide awareness and action for food security and nutrition for all people.
“This year’s theme is “Our actions are our future. Healthy diets for a zero hunger world”. It aims to remind the international community of its fundamental commitment – the eradication of all forms of malnutrition.
“Eliminating malnutrition in all forms is at the heart of F.A.O.’s mandate and at the heart of SDG2 Zero Hunger.
“The World Food Day calls for action across sectors to make healthy and sustainable diets accessible and affordable to everyone. At the same time, it calls on everyone to start thinking about what we eat.”
She added that F.A.O. is ready and available to work with member countries to develop policy responses, by providing technical support to global governance mechanisms for improving nutrition and promoting healthy and sustainable diets to a wide target audience, particularly through capacity development and awareness raising.