FAO Handover of Laptops and Tablets and Associate Minister for MAF’s Keynote Address

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The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nationssupports Samoa to better
plan, predict and respond to food system crisis.

March 23 2023, a small handover ceremony was held between Samoa’s Ministry of Agriculture
and Fisheries (MAF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to acknowledge both the physical and technical support from FAO to combat rising commodity prices that affect Samoa’s national food systems.

As part of FAO’s and World Food Programme (WFP) joint project “5F Crisis” that monitors the
rising cost of food, fuel, fertilizer, animal feed and certain finance statistics which aims to
support participating governments in increasing their technical capacity to analyse, predict, plan and respond to the impacts of the global crisis of food, energy and finance on their
national food systems.

FAO has developed the 5F Light Early Warning System (LEWS), which aids in this effort based
on economic statistics such as the Consumer Price Index and key lead indicators such as the
cost of fuel and animal feed and their impacts on food costs. The system helps countries better
predict economic shocks, thus enabling more informed policy-making by governments in the
region. FAO has trained representatives from the MAF Policy Division on the adoption of LEWS and handed over the matrix of indicators to ensure continuous monitoring of the 5Fs.

In addition, FAO also provided short-term physical assistance to MAF including laptops and tablets for monitoring the ongoing 5F crisis among MAF divisions, barbwire fencing for noncommercial cattle farmers, and vegetable seeds and local planting material for rural food
security. These items will be distributed by MAF to communities at a later date.

FAO has provided similar training and physical support to the other nine participating countries in the region; Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Niue,Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

FAO will continue capacity-building efforts with
national governments around the region as they take over key 5F monitoring infrastructure
that FAO has created.

“One of the strongest influences on the cost of food is the cost of fuel. Through this LEWS
training, governments around the region now have a better understanding of how, and how
soon, global fuel prices affect local petrol prices, and how and when petrol prices affect the
cost of food. Similar forecasts can be made with other indicators such as the cost of fertilizer
and animal feed as well as trends in remittances. Taken as a whole, LEWS is an effective tool for more informed policy-making by national governments”, said FAO Subregional Coordinator for the Pacific Islands, Ms. Xiangjun Yao.

 


Keynote Remarks

Official Handover of the Joint SDG UNJP/SAP/008/UNJ project

FAO Physical & Technical Assistance to the MAF

Crops Division, Nu’u

Thursday 23 March 2023

Madam Xiangjun Yao,

Subregional Coordinator for the Pacific Islands,

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I extend a very warm welcome to all of you this morning, and it is my great pleasure to address this special event, receiving the handover of Physical and Technical Assistance through the FAO component of the Joint SDG Fund, to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

The world is seriously affected by climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, the war between Russia and Ukraine, and most importantly the 5F crises (food, feed, fuel, fertilizer and finance). As a result of these ongoing crises and shocks, we have seen negative coping strategies developing, including changes in consumer behavior, with the price of healthy foods beyond the reach of most of us, and forcing us to resort to cheaper, less healthy options.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Food Programme joint project is timely, as it aims to support the Government in increasing their technical capacity to analyse, predict, plan and respond to the impacts of the global crisis of food, energy and finance on Samoa’s national food system.

This project has developed a Light Early Warning System, an effective tool that monitors the impacts of the 5Fs. It enables the development of more informed policies and strategic direction in decision making of the Government. We need to be innovative and come up with sustainable and affordable solutions, to transform our food systems for their intended beneficial purposes, which are to maintain food, nutrition and income security for our people.

On behalf of our Government and Ministry, I wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge with great appreciation the ongoing technical and physical assistance provided by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, towards the sustainable development of our agriculture and fisheries sector, to ensure our food and nutrition security, increase our exports and boost our import substitution efforts The Ministry will continue to work in collaboration with the FAO and all our other development partners to ensure continuous flow of positive benefits to our economy and most importantly the livelihoods of our farmers, against the negative impacts of climate change and the 5F crisis.

Thank you very much for your attention and Soifua!