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New deal targets new market pathways for taro

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (M.A.F.) and the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (P.H.A.M.A.) Plus hopes to establish new market pathways for taro exports from Samoa.

The agreement was signed between the two organisations earlier this month.

Under the new agreement, M.A.F. and P.H.A.M.A. Plus will work to explore new markets for fresh and processed taro. It will also look at developing relevant standards for export compliance.

The signing agreement complements efforts to increase production of disease-tolerant taro and exports of fresh taro from Samoa.

The Chief Executive Officer of M.A.F., Tilafono David Hunter, said that their Ministry looks forward to its continued partnership with P.H.A.M.A. Plus.

P.H.A.M.A. Plus is supported by the Australian and New Zealand Governments, and has been working with M.A.F. since 2011 to grow Samoa’s export industry.

Tilafono added that the goal of the signing agreement is to support stakeholders to innovate and expand the range of value-added products.

“And explore new markets for fresh and processed taro products,” he said.

He added that the activities detailed in the M.O.U. supports their Ministry’s efforts to meet export requirements.

“And will help us to better implement technical regulatory functions relating to taro exports.”

The P.H.A.M.A. Plus National Facilitator in Samoa, Asuao Kirifi Pouono, stated that the agreement with M.A.F. would help ensure compliance with the requirements by importing country, consistency in supply and quality of taro exports.

“P.H.A.M.A. Plus offers a pool of technical expertise to support the implementation of activities identified in the M.O.U.

“Through the implementation of these activities, the program also seeks to facilitate market systems change to ensure that development initiatives are sustainable.”

Other collaborations between M.A.F. and P.H.A.M.A. Plus include: Assisting banana growers to recover from Tropical Cyclone Gita by supporting two consignments of banana meristems from South Africa; Improving the quality of processed cocoa beans through proper fermentation and the use of solar dryers; Improving taro production by providing new export varieties to taro growers; and Supporting surveillance and pest eradication to maintain a healthy bee population, and development of new apiaries to help revive the beekeeping industry in Samoa.

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