By Lagi Keresoma
APIA: FRIDAY 12 APRIL 2013: The Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, José Graziano da Silva was bestowed a chiefly title reserved for a warrior today.
He was bestowed the title of Tagaloaletoaolemalaeoletoto (translated Tagaloa the warrior of the battleground of the blood) in a dawn ceremony surrounded by the village chiefs and orators and untitled men at Matautu, Lefaga,
The Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Le Mamea Ropati said the title is highly regarded in his village and district. He said the title has many significant references to the history of Samoa, but he only highlighted two reasons he thought was appropriate for this morning’s title bestowal ceremony.
One, the title represents bravery in any warriors as signified by the word “toa” in Tagaloale”toa”olemalaeoletoto and the importance of the word “malae” which could mean battleground or common meeting place.
“Graziano is a warrior leading the fight in reducing poverty, securing food security and increasing food resilience,” said Le Mamea.
Graziano and Le Mamea met during Graziano’s inauguration to the Director –General of FAO in Rome and invited him to attend the 10th Agriculture Ministers conference in Samoa.
Graziano acknowledged the honor of receiving the tittle during his speech at the Ministers conference this afternoon.
Le Mamea said FAO is spearheading projects around the world which will help alleviate problems faced by the world.
At the end of today’s meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between FAO member countries in the Pacific will be signed to kick-off a Multi Community Project to combat all obstacles hindering agriculture development and income earning opportunities.
Lefaga is selected as the location for the first project which will continue on to other Pacific islands.
“The title bestowal is the first step in securing close ties with FAO,” said Le Mamea.
He acknowledges FAO’s regional offices for the firm support in many Government projects and he hopes, that after the conference tomorrow, a platform is set for countries to help develop and monitor their projects.
Graziano was scheduled to have been bestowed the title yesterday morning, but his flight had to turn back when one of the passengers had health problems and he only arrived in Apia last night – missing the conference opening.