The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, Tilafono David Hunter & Zhinwen Liu inspecting vegetables at the China & Samoa intergovernmental funded project at Nu’u.
BY Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 27 JUNE 2017: The China and Samoa intergovernmental Vegetable Garden Project at the Nuu Research Station has been extended a further three years.
In parliament yesterday, the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao China’s assistance in developing and sharing new farming technologies for local farmers.
He said the project will benefit Samoa a lot especially farmers.
Last week, nine Chinese agricultural scientists arrived in the country to continue the fourth phase of the project which started in 2010.
“We are here to share the skills and knowledge on how to effectively and efficiently extend agricultural technologies to local farmers,” said team leader Zhinwen Liu.
Aside from demonstrating methods of growing healthy varieties of vegetables, the team will also help with the watermelon cultivation technology and introduce many new improved varieties of vegetables such as tomatoes, lettuce, maize and others.
Under the project, 100 demonstration farm houses and 110 tunnel houses will be built.
The Minister also suggested in Parliament that vegetable gardening should be introduced in schools, as a way of introducing healthy living to children from a young age.
Zhinwen said they noted that Samoan people love watermelon, but they rely only on imported ones so the idea of watermelons cultivation locally is one of the main focus of the project.
“This will help reduce prices on imported watermelons,” said Zhinwen
He said they will demonstrate to local farmers how to build vegetable tunnel houses, and provide technical services to them freely and ensure farmers can produce watermelons.
“This will help increase farmer’s incomes,” said Zhinwen.
The new addition to the Nu’u project is a chicken farm where only local female chickens from the University of the South Pacific at Alafua will be bred at Nu’u.
The Chief Executive Officer for MAF, Tilafono David Hunter said China has put in $17.5 million to fund all phases of the project.