The United Nations is funding two major organic projects for South Pacific island countries and territories, which includes building capacities on organic agriculture certification and creating regional standards and a strategy for organic agriculture.Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, chairman of the Pacific High Level Organic Steering committee, made the announcement late last month. The projects will be funded by the UN agency, IFAD (International Fund for Agriculture Developments).
“Organic agriculture, whether in farming, processing, distribution, or consumption, is to sustain and enhance the health of ecosystems and organisms from the smallest in the soil to human beings,” Malielegaoi said.
The capacities certification project will be implemented by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM), as well as by Women in Business Development Samoa. The standards and strategy project will be implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) under its land resource division.
Organic Task Force for the Pacific, a regional organization that involves lead individuals primarily from civil societies and the government in the field of organics, will develop the standards specific to the Pacific. USP School of Agriculture and Food Technologies will also be engaged in the process.
At the recent Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting in Tonga, SPC also became tasked with developing a new agriculture and forestry initiative, including atoll agriculture, under the Pacific Plan’s sustainable development pillar.