[Press-releases] Press Release - Rural communities in the driver's seat of agricultural research and extension
RositaH at spc.int
Fri Nov 9 23:44:13 EST 2007
Rural communities in the driver's seat of agricultural research and
Friday, 9 November 2007, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC),
CRGA 37, Apia, Samoa - Putting rural communities in the driver's seat of
agricultural research and extension is clearly what the EU-funded
Development of Sustainable Agriculture in the Pacific (DSAP) managed to
achieve in the recent years of implementation of the initiative.
Yesterday, pleading for donors to consider providing assistance towards
the conduct of an agriculture census, Francisco Marquez, farmer and
Secretary of the Pohnpei Farmers Association from the Federated States
of Micronesia (FSM), talked about the positive difference that DSAP had
made to himself as a farmer and to the local farming community in FSM.
'With the assistance of DSAP and other local partners and agencies, I
have been able to extend my farming area, build a nursery, use new
composting methods, increase seedling numbers, produce my own seeds
among other things. The livelihood of my family has improved sensibly. I
am currently looking at the possibility to export produce to Guam and
the Marshall Islands.'
Ricky F. Cantero, FSM's delegate to CRGA 37 and Deputy assistant
Secretary at the Department of Foreign Affairs, also added that
'Technical assistance to FSM with its agricultural census will enable
the farmers to achieve maximum return on their investments.'
'Some of the technologies that are being tested on farms, based on
country priorities, are the evaluation of the legume Macuna as a cover
crop, use of the bucket irrigation system, and promotion of vegetable
production in villages and schools,' said Dr Siosaua Halavatau, SPC Team
leader for DSAP in his presentation.
'Other technologies are the introduction of new varieties and germplasm,
improved smallholder livestock production, simple composting methods for
hilly areas , use of plant-derived pesticides, improved taro production,
and the introduction of wild varieties of tradition crops.
The DSAP project has created opportunities for the participation of
women and youth in technology development and income generation,' he
The SPC Land Resources division received SPC Gender Award 2007 for the
gender-inclusive approach of its DSAP programme.
Caption for the photograph:
Photo: From left to right: Dr Steven HAZELMAN, SPC Coordinator -
Information, Communication and Extension, LRD; Dr Siosaua HALAVATAU,
DSAP Team Leader; Mr Vilimoni Qolitabua, landowner, Drawa, Fiji; Jalesi
MATEBOBO, LRD Community Forestry Specialist
Front: Mr Franciso MARQUEZ, farmer and Secretary Ponhpei Farmers
For more information, contact Rosita Hoffmann, SPC Communications and
Public Relations Adviser, via email: RositaH at spc.int or by phone: +685
SPC's governing council is the Conference of the Pacific Community,
which meets every two years. In years when the Conference does not meet,
the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations
(CRGA - a committee of the Conference) is empowered to make decisions.
The Government of Samoa is hosting the 2007 meetings of the SPC
governing body in Apia: the 37th Meeting of CRGA (7-9 November 2007) and
the 5th Conference of the Pacific Community (12-13 November 2007). The
5th Conference is also the 60th Anniversary Conference of SPC, as 2007
marks SPC's 60th year of service to the Pacific region.
SPC member countries and territories: American Samoa, Australia, Cook
Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji Islands, France, French
Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New
Zealand, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea,
Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, United
States of America, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.
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