Ministry explains pandemic response plan
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (M.A.F.) is working on a response plan to COVID-19 to ensure food security in Samoa.
The plan was confirmed by the Chief Executive Officer of M.A.F., Tilafono David Hunter, in response to questions from the Samoa Observer.
“The implementation of the agriculture and fisheries sector response plan to COVID-19 in the next 3-6 months is divided into four main components – Personal Protective Equipment (P.P.E.), Awareness, Livestock and Crops,” he said.
Tilafono added that the P.P.E. is mainly required for the hygiene of the work place as well as the safety of Quarantine and Fisheries staff while implementing their essential services work.
“The awareness activities focus on radio and television programs related to encouraging the production of short term and medium-term crops to the public.
“The livestock veterinarian tools and drugs, equipment and livestock feed are required for the successful continuation of the Ministry’s work related to the livestock production in country, and the productivity and health of MAF’s livestock nucleus farms.
“The crops activities focus on the continuity of crop production mainly nutritious fruits and vegetables in Samoa.”
He added that essentially, the main components focuses on the necessary items required to keeping the agriculture and fisheries sector running for a period of one year should there be a potential shut down in Samoa due to the COVID-19.
“The materials requested are considered sufficient to cover a period of one year’s supply. This brings the total up to $972,410.70 and is broken down as follows: P.P.E. $20,338.00; Awareness $5,959.51; Livestock $124,825.19; Crops $821,288.00.
He added that M.A.F. are implementing many activities in partnership with other Ministries and the private sector to strengthen the agricultural and fishing developments to support food security in Samoa.
The M.A.F. C.E.O. added that their ministry is guided by two economic outcomes in our Strategy for the Development of Samoa (S.D.S.) 2016-2020 relating to agriculture and fisheries, namely “increase productivity of agriculture and fisheries”, and “increase exports”.
“All our activities are in our Agriculture Sector Plan 2016-2020 which aims to achieve these two economic outcomes.
“We are now in the process of reviewing the current A.S.P. which will involve a series of consultations to formulate a new 5-year A.S.P. for the period 2021-2025, to support food and nutrition security, import replacements and exports.”