China's agriculture project moves to Phase 5
The Samoa-China Agriculture Technical Aid Project will move to Phase 5 with the promotion of vegetables as well as the building of a feed mill amongst its objectives.
Project Jim Liu told the Samoa Observer that they are looking forward to the next phase of the project and this includes the construction of a feed mill which would take nine months to complete.
“Feed Mill is not easy because we don’t have enough domestic ingredient supplied,” he said in an interview.
“We have our mini-feed mill and we have tried our formula for three years and it's a good feature for the formula standard for pigs and chickens.
“The formula is quite good, and we are confident in scaling up the production.”
They will also set up a new tunnel house measuring 180 square metres with Mr Liu indicating that one side is for fruit vegetables such as tomato and the other leafy vegetables such as lettuce and cabbage.
“This tunnel house is 180 square meters divided with different vegetables and the controlling machine that controls the fertiliser and water from the mixture tank of water and fertilizer.
“The machine is a computerized program and because we didn’t have enough cultivated land so this system is good for high efficiency.”
More farmers in Samoa are expected to switch to this system according to Mr Liu who indicated that training will be provided.
“It also helped with seed roots to grow faster and ready for high consuming work,” he added in the interview.
“We are expecting more and more farmers to use this system and we are keen to organise training for all our local commercial farmers. It’s a good progress for Samoa.”
A charter flight from China which flew into Samoa last Thursday has also brought in more skilled personnel for the project.
Mr Liu confirmed there is a Chinese expert who is in quarantine and upon his release will join the project team.
The project started in May 2010 with Phase 1 and was completed in 2016. According to reports on agriculture in Samoa, inside each phase are five to six Chinese experts who were dispatched to Samoa to implement the project.
Phase 1 built ten acres of a demonstration farm on a stony wasteland while Phase 2 led to the construction of nine agricultural stations and Phase 3 repaired the damage caused by Cyclone Evan in 2012.
Phases 1–3 promoted a large number of vegetable varieties and trained more than 4,000 people. Phase 4 started on June 1, 2017 and ended on May 31,2020.
There were nine Chinese experts dispatched to work in Samoa for three years to upgrade and renovate the SCATAP Demonstration Farm and to strengthen its four fundamental functions.
The four functions are based on seed production, window of technology demonstration, center of agricultural training and platform of exchange and cooperation.
The project also focused on research, demonstration, training and extension of new crops varieties, tunnel houses and other key agricultural technology.