Around two-thirds of Samoa’s population is engaged in agriculture. In terms of crops, coconut is the most widely grown, while taro, bananas and breadfruit are also significant. Samoan farmers produce food for home consumption, local sale and export.
In the 1990s, agriculture and fisheries contributed approximately 20% of gross domestic product (GDP). Unfortunately, this has dropped to only 9.7% of the total $809.1M GDP (agriculture 4.5%, and fisheries 5.2%). This decline is a result of a number of challenges, notably limited national investment, declining productivity due to diseases such as taro leaf blight and reduced international competitiveness due to relatively high labour costs and difficulties in meeting overseas bio-security requirements.
Niche export opportunities exist for higher value agricultural produce, including processed and semi-processed products.
PHAMA is about maintaining, identifying and strengthening sustainable and profitable trading partnerships that benefit South Pacific island countries. Through 'Market Access Working Groups’ (MAWGs), PHAMA facilitates public-private partnerships that pinpoint viable commercial export opportunities and collectively work to realise these opportunities for local agribusiness.
MAWGs involve private sector and community representatives (e. g. exporters and producer groups, Women in Business Development Inc) and relevant government agencies (e.g. Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour, Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa). They are the vital link between farmers, processors, exporters and government
Food safety and quality testing - Improving the capacity of the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa (SROS) to undertake food safety and quality testing to enable local agricultural products to be tested according to internationally-accredited standards. The Samoan Government and private sector are looking to increase exports of processed food products and boost the country’s employment opportunities. Commonly-grown products such as taro, coconut, breadfruit and cocoa represent value-adding opportunities. Success in this relies on access to scientific analysis and advice.
While niche opportunities for exporting fresh agricultural produce exist in Samoa, PHAMA is increasingly supporting local partners to improve their capacity to enhance the value of Samoan produce and improve food safety through the following areas.
The Industry and its significance In the early 1960s, cocoa was the country’s second largest export earner with annual production of around 5,300 tonnes. Unfortunately, the impacts of cyclones, lack of replanting and unfavourable global market conditions led to the progressive, long-term decline of the industry. However, the situation has changed for the better, and...Read More