SAFPROM Matching Grant Program Extends Deadline

0
124

Media Release from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries

SAFPROM Matching Grant Program Extends Deadline

April 5 2022: On March 14, 2022, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries announced the opening of a second round of the Samoa Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity and Marketing (SAFPROM) Matching Grant Program (Window 2) for eligible groups. In light of the current Covid-19 restrictions, the Ministry has now moved to extend the deadline for applications to June 29, 2022.

ACEO for the Agriculture Sector Co-ordination Division (ASCD), Dr Ramona Sulifoa says the second round of the SAFPROM Window 2 Grant is part of the Project’s multi-level approach to boosting production and productivity of the agriculture and fisheries value chains.

“While the first round of the Matching Grant Programme targeted individual farmers and fishers; the SAFPROM Window 2 Grant Scheme is focused on agribusinesses,” said Dr Sulifoa. “It aims to support approximately 25 eligible groups who can apply for matching grants of up to USD 50,000 to fund investment projects to expand or jumpstart business activities and strengthen market linkages.”

“Through this window, the MGP will strengthen capacity and agribusiness activities of the eligible groups and the value chains of the small farmers and fishers in the target sub-sectors of crops (fruit and vegetables, tree crops and root crops), fisheries and livestock as well as subsidizing new technologies.”

Eligible groups in the Agriculture and Fisheries sector who can apply for the Window 2 Grant include producer organisations (registered groups and cooperative), agribusinesses Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with community and smallholder value chain linkages.

Community Based Fisheries Management Programs (CBFM) are also eligible for Window Two and Dr Ramona explains the Matching Grant Scheme will enable villages to play a leading role in managing sustainable food supply from their lagoon fisheries and adjacent ocean waters.

“The Window 2 MGP will include fishing villages and fisheries organisations that provide public goods and services. Under the Samoa Fisheries Management Act 2016, villages have the power to implement bylaws including the development and enforcement of village rules to conserve and manage resources.

With the appropriate tools and equipment they can facilitate improvements to their livelihood resources and engage youth in fisheries development activities.”

Due to the nationwide lockdown commencing on the 19th of March, the public awareness activities planned for the Window 2 Grant registrations were cut short however Dr Ramona says the extension of the deadline will give eligible groups more time to complete their applications and deliver them in person to the various drop off locations outlined.

“ It’s important that every application is sighted and stamped by our staff which is why we require our applicants to manually hand in all documents” said Dr Ramona. “We understand the current circumstances with the changing Covid-19 Alert Levels presents a logistical challenge for everyone which is why we have extended the deadline.”

“Over the next two weeks under Level 2, our offices will be open from 9am to 2pm for people to pick up and drop off applications. To ensure everyone’s health and safety during these times, our staff will be enforcing Alert Level 2 restrictions such as mandatory mask wearing, social distancing and restricting entry of any child under 12 years old.”

Application forms can be uplifted from Level 1 of TATTE building, Crops Division Nuu, Animal Production and Health Division (APHD) Mt. Vaea and the Salelologa MAF office, Savaii. More information on the SAFPROM Window 2 Matching Grant can be found on the SAFPROM Facebook page and applications forms can also be downloaded from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries website.