Minister Highlights Impact of Samoa China Agricultural Technical Aid Project – SCATAP

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Hon Laauli Leuatea Polataivao Fosi

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. Keynote Remarks for Handover Ceremony of SCATAP Phase 5 Affiliated Civil Works. SCATAP Demonstration Farm, Nu’u on Thursday 8 December 2022.

Reverend Muao Su’a, EFKS Vaitele Uta,

Members of Cabinet,

Your Excellency, Chao Xiaoliang, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Samoa,

Associate Ministers,

Mr Jim Liu and our SCATAP Expert Team,

SCATAP Model Farmers,

Distinguished Guests, 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 Samoa China Agricultural Technical Aid Project (or SCATAP) Phase 5 Affiliated Civil Works, 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 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.

As confirmed by the recent Pacific SIDS Solutions Forum that our Government had co-hosted with FAO, Samoa and Pacific Small Island States are struggling to cope with food, fuel, feed fertilizer and finance crisis.

As our Prime Minister, Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa, stated in her keynote remarks at the forum, we need to move forward with transformative food system approaches including government support towards building sustainable, resilient, and inclusive agrifood systems that works for Pacific Small Island States.

In short we need to innovate and come up with sustainable and affordable solutions, to transform our food systems for their intended purposes, which are to maintain food, nutrition and income security for our people.

And the SCATAP programme, funded by the Government of the People’s Republic of China, is one great example of innovations that help us address climate change and the 5F crisis.

All the SCATAP Phase 5 affiliated civil works completed and being hand over today are very good examples of innovative assistance from the Government of China. The Hunan Provincial Agriculture Foreign Economic Cooperation Center (or HPAFECC), SCATAP team, the designer, supervisor and Zheng Construction Company, together with the Government of Samoa have overcome huge difficulties in COVID-19 prevention, global inflation and shortage of labor force, since the commencement of SCATAP Phase 5 affiliated civil works on 6 July, 2021.

These have now been successfully completed on schedule with safety and quality, including expert residence, feed mill, breeder house, brooder house, 6 broiler houses, 60 tunnel houses, drying tunnel houses, expanding 10 acres on SCATAP Demonstration Farm, establishing 2 acres of citrus demonstration plantation, and upgrading the electricity and water supply system on SCATAP Demonstration Farm.

The affiliated civil works completed have enhanced the function of the SCATAP Demonstration Farm, increased the production capacity of vegetables, citrus and broilers in Samoa, benefit 38 model farmers and increased farmers’ income directly.

The free-range broiler value chain has been established for the first time in Samoa, the first modern feed mill has been put into operation, and the formulated pellet feed has been supplying our model farmers together with the baby chickens.

I firmly believe this breakthrough will provide strong assistance to chicken farming and make significant contribution to substitute the chicken meat import, which costs us millions of Tala every year.

I would like to acknowledge with appreciation the tireless efforts and innovative work of our Chinese expert team lead by Mr. Liu, the implementation institution Hunan Provincial Agriculture Foreign Economic Cooperation Center, the Zheng Construction Company and all others who had supported this great project.

For the SCATAP model farmers who are here today that have benefitted from the project with tunnel houses, broiler houses and citrus plantation, I strongly advise you all that you value this opportunity, make good use of the assistance from the Government of China and work together with our SCATAP team and Ministry staff, to achieve and sustain the project objective.

You Excellency, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to recall that SCATAP has been implemented for 12 consecutive years since 2010.

A total of 40 agricultural experts from China have worked in Samoa. It established 1 demonstration farm where we are today, facilitated 9 agricultural stations and develop 100 model farms.

It promoted 9 agricultural technology packages, including new crop varieties, tunnel houses vegetable cultivation, free range broiler production, crops-livestock-biogas recycling technology, high yield citrus production and agricultural machineries.

SCATAP has provided 200 tunnel houses, 100 machineries and agricultural training for more than 10,000 farmers and officials.

The implementation of the project has played an important role in stabilizing vegetable supplies and prices in Samoa in the context of global food crisis.

On behalf of our Government and Ministry, I wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge with great appreciation the ongoing technical assistance provided by the Government of the People’s Republic of China, towards the sustainable development of our agriculture sector, to ensure our food and nutrition security, increase our exports and boost our import substitution efforts.

My Ministries will continue to maintain cooperation with Your Excellency and your Embassy in Samoa, and I look forward, Your Excellency, to your Government to support another phase of SCATAP, Phase 6, 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!