Government of Samoa and World Bank Sign Agreements for US$13 million Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Project in Samoa
MANILA, May 4, 2012 - The Government of Samoa and the World Bank today signed agreements worth US$13 million for the Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Project in Samoa. The agreements were signed by Pamela Cox, World Bank Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific and Hon. Faumuina Tiatia Faaolatane Liuga, Minister of Finance for Samoa at the annual Meetings of the Asian Development Bank in Manila. The project will help more than 2,000 Samoan fruit and vegetable and livestock farmers to improve their productivity and take greater advantage of market opportunities.
“Agriculture plays a very important role in the Samoan economy, employing around two-thirds of the national labor force and supporting 18,000 rural households,” said Pamela Cox, World Bank Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific. “This project will help improve the country’s agriculture sector which has underperformed in the last decade and increased the Samoa’s dependency on food imports.”
Livestock farmers participating in the project will benefit from activities which will improve access to superior breeding stock; improve livestock nutrition; provide finance for eligible farm enterprise investments through matching grants; and improve meat handling via a new field service on Upolu and Savai’i, and later through the construction of an abattoir on Upolu.
Fruit and vegetable farmers will have access to new, higher yielding fruit and vegetable varieties, improved farming technology and access to finance for farm enterprise investments. The project will work with farmers to help them meet the demands of local retailers and foodservice operators for year-round supplies of fresh fruits and vegetables. The project will further provide support to encourage healthy eating habits and increased fruit and vegetable consumption.
The project also includes support to improve the effectiveness of government and non-government agricultural institutions providing extension and adaptive research services to Samoan farmers.
The Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Project supports the implementation of Samoa’s Agriculture Sector Plan (2011 – 2015) and will contribute to the Plan’s objectives of increased food and income security by 2015 and enhanced private sector capacity in improving productivity, value addition and marketing.
The project will be funded by $US8 million from the World Bank’s concessional finance arm, the International Development Association and is co-financed by a $US5 million multi-donor grant from the Food Price Crisis Response Multi-donor Trust Fund.