Samoa is moving to develop its first Agriculture & Fisheries Climate Change Policy and this week stakeholders were asked to make contributions and share insights as part of the consultation process.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) officially opened an inception workshop this week to kickstart the development of the first Samoa Agriculture & Fisheries Climate Change Policy.
Technically supported and funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the workshop aimed to engage key stakeholders in the policy development process.
Climate change poses a serious threat to agriculture and its ongoing development. Nevertheless, agriculture remains the backbone of Samoa’s economy and contributes to local livelihoods and income generation, especially for the local village community, including vulnerable families.
The sector generates 10.4% of GDP (2017 estimate) and uses 65% of labor, with 97% of households producing agricultural goods for subsistence and/or commercial purposes.
The barriers to climate-resilient agriculture include unsustainable farming practices, policy and regulatory gaps, limited crop diversity, limited observation and early warning networks/systems, gender inequality, limited access to finance, weak institutional capacity, and limited youth participation in agriculture. Guidance on the agriculture sector’s response to these gaps is a priority for the new policy.
During the Inception Workshop, Sala Sagato Tuiafiso of the Samoa Farmers Association shared his experience and emphasized the importance of including contributions from smallholder farmers and fishers in the development of the policy.
Salā also highethe importance of including research and data access under the policy.
The Acting CEO of MAF, Matatumua Taimalietane Matatumua reaffirmed the Ministry’s approach to prioritize stakeholder engagement in the process.
“It is important for our stakeholders to provide their contributions and insights to the policy development process.”