Print

Friday, 09 December 2016

Samoa Agritourism Policy Setting Workshop

Samoa will advance its agritourism development through a policy setting workshop taking place from 13 to 16 December in Apia. This event will bring together over 70 experts, notably national stakeholders representing the fields of tourism, agriculture, trade and health, private sector representatives as well as Samoa’s foremost development partners. The Workshop is being organised by Government of Samoa and the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA) in collaboration with the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The main objectives are to develop and validate elements of the national strategy/policy on agritourism, to establish a national platform promoting linkages between the relevant ministries and stakeholders and to identify key public private partnerships supporting agribusiness development. Samoa’s agricultural products make up approximately 90% of its exports, but these are mainly primary commodities with relatively low value added. Producers and policymakers are looking to move agriculture away from the current subsistence model, with the aim of targeting key markets that will help strengthen and expand agribusiness activity on its islands, notably export markets and more recently, the local tourism markets. According to Papali’i Sonja Hunter, CEO of Samoa Tourism Authority and Chair of the South Pacific Tourism Organization “It’s all about working together. But we need now to build an agritourism strategy to ensure that we are all working together and that we all understand.” She also points out that “as far as the tourism sector is concerned, agritourism as is a form of sustainable tourism.” Agritourism isn’t new to Samoa, but in order for the mutually beneficial synergies between the agriculture and tourism sectors to be fully realised, a more comprehensive engagement between the relevant ministerial bodies is needed, as well as stronger linkages with the private sector.