29 July 2019, Apia Samoa. Press Secretariat. Government is negotiating with the Japan based Akabira Orchids to form a partnership in developing Samoa’s vanilla and orchid industries.
The initial proposal was presented this week by company officials to the Samoa Trust Estates Corporation’s (STEC) Minister, Sala Fata Pinati.
And Sala is welcoming the proposal with open arms saying it’s the answer to the Government’s prayers.
“Government especially the Prime Minister has been longing to develop vanilla and orchid to become two of our biggest export commodities,” said Sala.
“With the proposal from Akabira, the possibilities are good and achievable.”
Through the locally based JICA, Akabira will provide technical experts to train STEC and Samoa Research Organisation of Samoa staff.
A laboratory will be established with multiple objectives;
- To focus on verifying the quality of vanilla beans and orchids propagation.
- Assist STEC with orchid and vanilla cultivation.
- Improve STEC product development such as virus free vanilla, taro and cocoa with the assistance from Japanese experts
A marketing component is also included in the proposal for vanilla and orchid exports from Samoa. In return, STEC has offered 500 acres in front of the Faleolo International Airport for a vanilla and orchid plantation.
Once formalised by Cabinet, initial consultations with vanilla and orchid growers along with local stakeholders is expected to start before the end of the year.