Apia, Samoa – The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has awarded US$997,564 to WIBDI to improve the management and control of the invasive Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB) affecting over 2,000 smallholder coconut farmers in Samoa.
The USAID’s Pacific American Fund grant will support WIBDI to implement an integrated pest management program, using natural biological agents and pheromone traps, across impacted villages.
USAID Deputy Mission Director Betty Chung who was in Apia, Samoa to celebrate the launch of the WIBDI project said that the project would not only address the critical issue of CRB infestation, but would do so without using harmful pesticides and chemicals.
“By using this type of natural approach, WIBDI is ensuring that farmers will still be able to trade in fair-trade markets as well as organic, local, and international markets,” she added.
The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Pacific American Fund is a five-year grant facility that addresses critical development challenges across 12 Pacific Island Countries, including the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
The goal of PAF is to improve the quality of life in vulnerable communities and to improve access to essential services across the region. The principal means by which the Fund supports PICs is through its core grant-making facility and associated capacity building activities.