Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT)

The main goal of the European Union-funded Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) project is to strengthen the export capacity of Pacific member countries in the primary industries of agriculture, forestry, aquaculture and livestock. The project employs a whole-of-supply chain approach, assisting commercial ventures and producer groups to become export-oriented, market-driven enterprises that will consistently supply overseas markets with competitive agriculture, forestry and aquaculture products. The project is implemented by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Suva, Fiji and started in June 2011.

More proficient business trainers in the Northern Pacific

Tuesday, 27 August 2013 15:09

Business entrepreneurs in the Pacific can now expect to receive better expertise from trainers in the areas of marketing, quality assurance and business development. This will help improve the export market readiness and performance of their enterprises.

Workshop participants from the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau, together with representatives of the University of Guam and trainers at the North-Pacific in-country train-the-trainers workshop.

A 22-member group of public and private sector trainers from the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau attended the North-Pacific in-country train-the-trainers workshop in Guam from 12–15 August.

The workshop was facilitated by two European Union (EU)-funded projects – the Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) project and the Pacific Regional Tourism Capacity Building programme (PRTCBP) – in partnership with the University of Guam’s Pacific Islands Small Business Development Center Network (PISBDCN).

IACT and PRTCBP are implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) respectively. Both projects are part of EU’s Strengthening Pacific Economic Integration through Trade (SPEITT) programme.

The four-day workshop refreshed and enhanced the skills of the participants – most of whom are engaged in training business owners and potential business operators in their countries. It is expected that they will assist in the areas of marketing, quality assurance and business development on their return.

This, according to IACT Team Leader, Samu Turagacati, is particularly important, keeping in mind the high costs and difficulties faced by entrepreneurs in acquiring the services of specialised business trainers.

‘Having well-rounded business trainers who are easily accessible to entrepreneurs, including those involved in enterprises assisted by IACT, will facilitate the provision of the necessary technical assistance and advisory services for enterprises to grow and expand. This will contribute to economic growth, as well as generate employment opportunities,’ he stated.

Commenting on the collaboration with partners for the workshop, Turagacati said that IACT is well-positioned to engage with key players in the economic development of the Pacific by undertaking joint interventions on activities to support small and medium-scale enterprises to maximise on business opportunities.

The University of Guam and PISBDCN were pleased and excited about the partnership formed with SPC and SPTO.

‘It is our hope to work together more in the future to help build the capacity of the private sector in Micronesia by providing more training like this,’ said Casey Jeszenka, Network Director of PISBDCN.

Turagacati said that there may be a possibility in the near future for IACT-assisted enterprises in the Northern Pacific to be part of PISBDCN’s client list in order for them to receive free technical assistance when required.

The training was well received by the participants. They expressed their appreciation of the outstanding delivery of the presentations and noted that the training was extremely useful.

One of the participants, Lisa Abraham, Director of Palau’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC,) said that the workshop was a great opportunity to enhance her skills and knowledge.

‘This training was very important as I will use the tools, knowledge and information to assist my clients on matters of quality control, business systems and processes, and the ability to accurately quantify loss of business,’ she said.

Key benefits of the workshop include the enhancement of the marketing, quality assurance, business development and teaching skills of the participants so that they will be better able to teach clients and small business communities in the tourism and export sectors.

Lisa Abraham hopes to implement some of the things learnt at the workshop in the annual training goals for Palau’s SBDC. This will involve conducting training programmes to value-added production clients, as well as to current and prospective farmers and producers.

The workshop was held at the University of Guam in Mangilao.

The IACT project is aimed at strengthening the export capacity of Pacific countries and territories in the primary industries of agriculture, forestry, aquaculture and livestock.

For more information, contact: Ashley R. Gopal, Media & Communications Assistant - IACT, Land Resources Division, SPC, Suva, Fiji (Tel.: +679 337 9492; email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ); or visit the SPC website: www.spc.int.

 

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