Better access to information will assist Pacific growers
Tuesday, 10 June 2014 22:15
A three-day workshop on strengthening and disseminating value chain-related information, skills, and approaches in the Pacific Islands is being organised in Fiji by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in collaboration with the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA).

Acknowledging the support of CTA and the European Union, the Acting Deputy Director of the SPC Land Resource Division, Sairusi Bulai, highlighted the importance of sharing information and knowledge for greater impact.

‘It is only when we work together collaboratively and in true partnership that we will be able to start making positive changes for our people,’ he said.

‘This is especially important for us in the Pacific because of the many challenges that we face as small island countries.’

Mr Bulai added the initiative is in line with SPC’s greater emphasis on cross-sectoral and multi-disciplinary approaches in providing its services.

‘During last year’s workshop on value chains, which we also organised with the support of CTA and the EU, it became apparent that access to more and better information on the subject is needed for Pacific to benefit from such a process.’

Therefore, he added, the main objective of this workshop will be to review and provide feedback to the draft guide developed by Kokosiga Pacific led by Dr Andrew McGregor to facilitate the better understanding of value chain.

‘This guide can be effectively used to help improve small businesses in the Pacific,’ he said.

Samson Vilvil Fare of CTA shared similar sentiments, and he said that CTA’s key priorities are strengthening agricultural and rural development policy processes, improving agricultural value chains and access to markets for small-scale producers, and enhancing information, communication and knowledge management capacities.

‘Therefore, the SPC CTA value chain project involves a value chains portal providing access to materials to facilitate the exchange of information between agencies as well as improved access to information by farmers and the private sector,’ said Mr Fare.

He added that the project also provides a set of tools that could be used to analyse the performance of Pacific Island value chains and identify steps to be taken to make those chains more efficient and raise awareness among value chain actors in the region of the potential benefits of multi-stakeholder consultation.

Mr Fare also emphasised the ownership of the value chain tools, saying that Pacific Islanders must own the tools developed for value chains on specific commodities.

The meeting will discuss and identify the way forward for the project via feedback from 24 participants from 7 countries in the region.


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