NZ$7.3m regional programme to assist Pacific farmers and exporters

New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Samoa, Dr Trevor Matheson last week, announced a NZ$7.3m regional programme of assistance that seeks to ensure the livelihoods of Pacific farmers and exporters involved in exporting fresh produce are sustained.
The handover ceremony on Friday at the Lava Hotel is for Samoa’s Citrus Export Plan, produced jointly by Samoa’s Ministry for Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) and New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Lava Hotel, Sogi-13th May 2022.
Matteson says Aotearoa New Zealand is proud of the partnership between MAF and New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
“This partnership draws on the strong bonds between Aotearoa New Zealand and Samoa, our shared desire to sustain the export of horticultural produce from Samoa to Aotearoa New Zealand and to see positive and sustainable outcomes for exporters, farmers, and their families.
“In Samoa, I am delighted to see the early fruits of the MAF-MPI partnership come to bear – through the development of Samoa’s citrus export plan.
“This is a significant milestone for the partnership in enabling safe trade of quality citrus from Samoa to Aotearoa New Zealand. We acknowledge the importance of this plan in providing greater clarity and bolstering confidence in export systems and public agencies on both ends of the supply chain that exist to support producers, exporters, and importers alike,” said Matteson. 
Adding that since 2015, Samoa has exported around NZ$20.5 million in fresh horticultural produce to New Zealand; this equates to around NZ$2.9 million in revenue per year.
“With this plan, we are hopeful that new opportunities to export citrus fruits to New Zealand will lead to increased and sustained earnings for Samoa in the future.”
The presentation of the citrus export plan brings renewed hope for the sector at a time when Samoa and economies like it around the world look to agriculture and primary industries for recovery and resilience in a post-COVID environment.
“The plan is crystal clear in that to fully realize the benefits it entails takes many helping hands from all parts of the agriculture system.
“Like the old proverb or whakatauki “He rau ringa e oti ai”, many hands make light work, our Kiwi hands are but one of many in support of Samoa’s economic recovery and agriculture development goals.
“On this note, Malo Lava to the joint MAF and MPI teams in working collaboratively to develop this plan for Samoa and to see through its effective implementation.
“Furthermore, I congratulate your ongoing efforts in enabling secure and meaningful trade between Samoa and New Zealand.
A warm thank you to the staff and management of Lava Hotel for graciously hosting us today.”
He also zeroed in on the theme for Samoa’s 60th anniversary of independence launched this week, may you continue to “Sail with faith” – “Folau ma le Faatuatua”.