Minister meets new Pacific F.A.O. Regional Coordinator
The new United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (F.A.O.) Subregional Coordinator for the region has met with the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Lopao'o Natanielu Mua.
Xiangjun Yao took over from Eriko Hibi who was her predecessor from September 2016 to September 2020.
According to an F.A.O media release, Ms. Yao conveyed her gratitude to the Government of Samoa for assisting with her travel arrangements to Samoa, considering the current travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Thank you for your kind support otherwise I wouldn’t be here in Samoa today," she said.
"I’m honoured for the opportunity to serve in Samoa and the Pacific region."
She then highlighted the principle approach of the F.A.O. working in countries for countries and drew attention to the need for guidance by the Minister to pinpoint key issues relevant to Samoa in areas where the UN agency can assist.
Lopao'o welcomed Ms Yao to Samoa and acknowledged the continued partnership between the F.A.O. and Samoa and looked forward to working together to benefit the agricultural sector and rural livelihoods.
He said that the F.A.O. is supportive of Samoa’s development efforts in providing technical support for its agricultural sector.
Lopao'o said he was encouraged by agencies like the F.A.O. are listening and recognising the Pacific voice more in a global context.
Ms. Yao emphasised the efforts by F.A.O. Director General Qu Dongyu to strengthen the F.A.O. capacity and presence in Small Island Development States in the Pacific including Samoa.
The UN agency focuses on building sustainable, resilient, and productive agriculture, including crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries, strengthening capacity to collect and analyse evidence and data, and promotion of efficient value chains to enable safe, nutritious and affordable food to all in the Pacific Islands.