Ambassador Kazumasa Shibuta and CEO of SROS Tilafono David Hunter shake hands after a grant of US $94,912 was signed over to SROS from Japan
APIA: THURSDAY 05 FEBRUARY 2015: Fragrant plants and orchids from Samoa could soon be economically viable on a global scale thanks to a Japanese funded project now underway at the Scientific Research Organization of Samoa (SROS).
A grant of USD 94,912 was officially signed over to SROS during a ceremony at the Embassy of Japan today (February 5) to fund the project titled “Development and Commercial Application of Economically Viable Plant Resources for the Well-being of Samoan People.” The fund was provided under Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects.
In the coming months, SROS will research and develop cost-effective biotechnologies on plants which are abundant, well grown and economically viable. The grant will fund the procurement of equipment to use for SROS research.
It entails the use of plant biotechnology to exploit the resources abundantly available at different locations across Samoa and will specifically be directed at the propagation of various orchids and the extraction of aromas from fragrant plants.
Japan’s Ambassador to Samoa His Excellency Tuimaugaoali’i Kazumasa Shibuta said this project is going to improve the economic well-being of Samoan communities where fragrant plants grow abundantly yet are underutilized.
He said Samoa has the potential to break into the global trade of cut flowers which has a huge market overseas. In addition the aroma compounds of fragrant plants commonly found in Samoa are key ingredients sought by the global industry for perfumes.
It also broadens the knowledge of local scientists involved in the development of these biotechnologies.
Ambassador Shibuta said Japan aligns its funding with priorities identified in the Strategy for the Development of Samoa (SDS) 2012-2016. The Government listed revitalized agriculture as one of the key outcomes in the SDS.
“This project is another example of the strong mutual relations that exist between Japan and Samoa. Japan will continue to support Samoa and align it’s funding with areas of priority identified in the Strategy for the Development of Samoa 2012-2016,” he said.
Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects have been funding humanitarian projects in Samoan communities since 1991.