Poultry farms set to enhance Samoa’s food security
Apia, SAMOA — Baby chicks are arriving at 5 new poultry units in Samoa as part of the Pacific Regional Integrated Food and Security Initiative to COVID-19. "We're hopeful that the new poultry units will further reduce Samoa's reliance on imported meat and generate more benefits for farmers, in improving productivity, animal health and safety and access to markets," the Samoan gov’ts animal production O\officer Seykeen Meleisea said.
Five new poultry farming units have been opened in Samoa as part of the island nation's ongoing efforts to reduce reliance on imported meat. The units were constructed as part of the Pacific Regional Integrated Food and Security Initiative to COVID-19 (PRISCO19) project in partnership with the Samoan Government.
The poultry units have a semi-free range set-up, providing shelter at night and allowing continuous access for the chickens to find feed during the day. The set-up has proven to be effective for raising egg laying poultry birds for the purpose of commercial egg production.
The Samoan Government's Principal Animal Production Officer Seykeen Meleisea said the establishment of the poultry units will provide key support to farmers for improving standards and promoting the livestock farming industry.
"We're hopeful that the new poultry units will further reduce Samoa's reliance on imported meat and generate more benefits for farmers, in improving productivity, animal health and safety and access to markets," Meleisea said.
New poultry unit sites are located at Sapapalii and Auala on the island of Savaii and Faleula, Vaoala and Siuniu on Upolu island. PRISCO19's support included the provision of poultry shed construction materials, poultry feed, extra stock of veterinary laboratory consumables for surveillance purposes, in addition to chicks more than one-month old to ensure farm survivability. Five farmers benefited from the initiative; with the hope they will also assist other interested poultry farmers.
"There is great potential for Samoa's livestock industry and its overall benefit towards boosting the economy, ensuring food security and creating employment opportunities," said Tulia Molimau - Iosefa, Assistant Chief Executive Officer at the Animal Production and Health Division of Samoa's Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
The units are now being used for the farmers' existing stock of poultry. The chicks and chicken feed will be provided in the next step of the project.
SPC Land Resources Division Director Karen Mapusua said this a welcome development in a larger effort to improve food and nutrition security in the region through collaborative approaches and strengthened partnerships.
"With the Coronavirus pandemic still raging on and threatening access to food and nutrition security, these initiatives are critical for our region. It fosters sustainable livelihoods as we help build the capacity of farmers to meet productivity demands and quality standards that can further open up opportunities for trade," Karen explained.
The new units were part of the PRISCO19 project funded by the European Union and implemented by the Pacific Community's (SPC) Land Resources Division in partnership with the Samoa Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.