Samoa’s Agro Show is back

2011-03-06T11:00:00Z

After a four-year break, Samoa’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is all set to bring back its annual event, the “Agro Show” in October this year. <!--more-->The popular show last took place in 2007. This year’s three-day event will showcase produce from farms across the country – whether commercial or subsistence.

Farmers and growers can win a range of prizes by participating at a number of competitions at the show. Farmers from all over the country are expected to participate as the show also exposes them and their produce to interested buyers locally, nationally and even internationally.

According to the ministry, previous shows have brought handsome gains to participants in terms of providing contacts as well as putting them directly in touch with buyers.

Agriculture comprises just 10% of the country’s GDP at present a mere shadow of its far stronger contribution before the 1990s. Large-scale destruction caused by two strong hurricanes in 1990 and 1991 followed by the introduction of the Talo Leaf Blight in 1992 dealt a massive blow to Samoa’s agriculture sector, which has never been able to regain its lost glory.

Now the new challenges of climate change, food security and the ever-increasing cost of inputs are beginning to affect the sector in Samoa as elsewhere in the Pacific Islands region. These concerns will also be reflected in the forthcoming Agro Show.

The show will also help the ministry spot top quality harvests for the international markets and evaluate the performance of the sector as a whole to meet the expected demand and quality of produce for exports.

Recent research conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries identified five varieties of taro that are up to the level for the international markets. The Tuamasaga lime has also been identified as a candidate for export, while nonu and coconut products are really carving a competitive niche for themselves internationally.

With doors to the Australian markets now open, taro chips are beginning to make their contribution in earning valuable export dollars. The Agro Show aims to identify such products to grow the country’s agro-export business.

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