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(Nadia Scialabba)



Watershed management, pasture development, adoption of agroforestry as a land-use option, and management of fishery resources are among the projects implemented on a national and regional basis in the South Pacific.

The farming systems of the South Pacific are diverse and complex. Many of the farming systems are multilayered agroforestry systems and managed by individual households. Two major needs are apparent: increased production of food and cash crops (for increased farm household food security and income), and intensified resource conservation.

Governments of the South Pacific island countries have realized the problems mentioned above. Farming systems training for rural development is seen as a priority area for action and FAO's technical assistance has been requested in this field. The implementation of the farming systems training project (TCP/RAS/4452) started in 1995 and will be completed later this year. Participating countries are Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands. The implementing agency in the Region is the Institute for Research, Extension and Training (IRETA) of the University of the South Pacific, Apia, Samoa. The primary objectives of the project are to strengthen the capacity of agricultural and rural development professionals in identifying and promoting sustainable farming systems for farmers in the South Pacific Sub-region. Specifically, it focuses on strengthened capacity for farming systems participatory analyses in agriculture and natural resources sector through regional and national training courses, and improved availability of integrated natural resource and farming systems information for extension, planning and policies.

Projects in the pipeline include natural forest management and wood processing in the Solomon Islands, a national conservation and resource management programme in Papua New Guinea, and forest resources management in the Cook Islands.


At the request of the Committee on Fisheries, a fisheries technical assistance programme is being developed for small island developing states. The Programme focuses on six priority areas identified by the countries: (i) institutional strengthening and national capacity-building; (ii) conservation and management of EEZ fisheries; (iii) improved post-harvest management and marketing; (iv) safety at sea; (v) strengthening the economic role of national fisheries industries; and (vi) aquaculture and inland fisheries conservation and management. The Programme document is expected to be available in mid-1996.


The heads of Forestry Departments of 12 South Pacific countries met with representatives of forestry-related institutions, donor agencies and NGOs in Nandi, Fiji, in July 1994 to discuss issues faced by foresters in the Region. The theme of the meeting was "people's participation and conflict resolution". As a follow-up to the meeting, the regional harvesting code of practice was established in 1995.

The UNDP/FAO South Pacific Forestry Development Programme (SPFDP) extensively supports forestry development throughout the Pacific islands, organizing workshops and training on silviculture of sandalwood, agroforestry for atolls and introducing rattan, reduced-impact forest harvesting, operational principles of the National Forestry Action Programme, and watershed management. SPFDP has developed a Directory of the Oceania Forest Sector.


FAO gave technical support for improved production of root and tuber crops along with follow-up assistance to sub-regional projects on crops. An expert consultation of root and tuber crops will be held in Apia, Samoa, in June 1996.

Assistance is provided for the control of disease such as taro leaf blight and training is provided to improve plant quarantine decision making. A series of projects to control fruit fly and increase production and export of fresh fruits have been implemented. A further phase will continue activities up to the end of 1996. A monograph on selected plant control species in the Region has been issued.

Projects in the pipeline include intensified efforts on fruit and other crop research in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu and improved cropping through fertilizer use in Tonga.

Samoa and Vanuatu enacted pesticide legislation while Fiji harmonized existing regulations with the FAO Pesticide Code of Conduct.


A Regional Expert Consultation on Curriculum Development for the Food and Agro-Industry in South Pacific Island Countries was convened in Apia in 1995. Experts from Cook Islands, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu met to consider ways and means of providing training for the development of the agro-processing industry.

Processing and handling of agricultural products include technical assistance and guidance in the design and construction of a small milk pasteurization unit in Tonga, milk processing in Samoa, introduction of improved meat processing techniques in the Cook Islands, training in coconut wood sawmilling and utilization in Tonga, and food processing in Vanuatu. Efforts foreseen in the near future involve commercial root crops in the Cook Islands, wood products marketing in Fiji, and processing and marketing of agricultural commodities in Tonga.

Discussions are in progress on the relative merits of the Pacific Islands forming their own Agricultural Engineering Network (PACNATI) or whether the islands should join RNAM (the Regional Network for Agricultural Machinery) which has operated amongst Southern and East Asian countries for many years.


Assistance was given to Vanuatu in conducting its second agricultural census in 1993, especially with regard to a garden survey, to obtain data on crop areas. Procedures for the collection and analysis of Pacific tuna resources were improved and additional procedures designed to study tuna fisheries interaction problems. A review of the agricultural statistics situation in Papua New Guinea has been undertaken. A regional effort on assessment of forest resources is in the pipeline.

FAO participated in the 9th Regional Conference of Pacific Statisticians in Noumea, New Caledonia, in September 1993, organized by the South Pacific Commission, and participated in the 10th Regional Conference in 1995. Technical support was given to the Livestock Unit of the South Pacific Commission in the preparation of the sub-regional project Improvement of Animal Health Information Systems in the Pacific Island Countries.


Strengthening public administrations and the private sector capabilities in fisheries include identifying key issues confronting the management of fishing industry in Fiji and Solomon Islands, means to improve fishery stocking in rivers and lakes in Papua New Guinea, and development of policies and programmes for inshore fishery management in Tonga. A regional project on the development of community based coastal fishery management systems seeks to enhance the awareness among fisheries administrators, private industry, resource users, and the public on the benefits of environmentally sound artisanal fishery development.

In the Cook Islands, a policy framework for a policy-guided development strategy for the agricultural sector has been formulated and officially adopted. Tonga has been assisted in preparing an integrated regional agricultural development programme based on a multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral planning approach incorporating concerns about environment and sustainability. Adoption of local sustainable practices was ensured in the planning process.

Technical assistance and advice is given to Papua New Guinea for defining a strategy for the National Agricultural Research and Development Institute and designing a sustainable research and development programme.

In the pipeline are projects on agricultural extension and capacity-building of women in agriculture in Tonga, and a regional agricultural education and development project.


Cook Islands Assistance in Meat Processing
29/09/94 1 year $ 114 000 To introduce adequate meat processing techniques at the commercial and rural level.
Fiji Strengthening Management Capability of the Fisheries Division
02/94 1 year $ 117 000 To identify key issues confronting the management of fishing industry and to determine how best to strengthen the management capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forest.
  Fiji Strengthening Engineering Design Capabilities
13/01/87 8 years
5 months
$ 656 050 To prepare irrigation designs, contracts and tender documents for construction and implementation.
Papua New Guinea Assistance in Establishing a National Agricultural Research and Development Institute (NARI)
10/12/93 11 months $ 42 120 To assist in the preparation of a comprehensive agricultural research and technology transfer plan for the establishment of a National Agricultural Research and Development Institute.
Papua New Guinea Assistance in Establishing a NARI (Phase III)
09/08/95 1 year
5 months
$ 251 000 To provide technical advice for defining an effective strategy for NARI and designing an appropriate, adequately resourced, and sustainable research and development programme for the Institute.
Papua New Guinea Fisheries Improvement by Stocking at High Altitude (FISHAID)
15/03/93 3 years $ 1 306 645 To establish improved and sustainable fish stocks in rivers and lakes, and to strengthen the capacity of national institutions in inland fisheries management.
Papua New Guinea SPFP in Papua New Guinea
23/11/95 2 years $ 937 700 To empower the Government of Papua New Guinea, more specifically the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, to plan and initiate the development of agriculture in the Markham Valley of Morobe Province in order to achieve greater self-sufficiency in food and food security at both national and households levels through increased agricultural production and productivity and a rise in rural incomes and standards of living.
Samoa Assistance for the Control of Taro Leaf Blight
28/09/93 1 year $ 133 000 To advise the Government in the control of the disease and confine it in the immediate future; to assist in devising a Plan of Action for the effective future control and possible eradication of taro leaf blight, and to prepare proposals for follow-up activities.
Samoa Cattle Development
09/03/87 7 years
6 months
$ 583 954 To increase meat and in particular beef production towards self-sufficiency in order to save scarce foreign exchange and achieve a more intensive utilization of natural resources.
Samoa Fruit Trees Development (Phase II)
13/01/92 3 years
$ 854 731 Institution-building to upgrade and broaden the capabilities of the Department of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries (DAFF) staff, growers, and fruit processors, in modern fruit growing, marketing and nursery practices.
Samoa Watershed Management and Conservation Education (Main phase)
01/01/92 4 years $ 743,000 To provide support to upgrade and build-up capabilities of the Watershed Management Section, Forestry Division, Dept. of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries, to carry out more effectively the implementation of the Vaisigano watershed management plan and transfer technologies to other watersheds, together with other donor agencies.
Samoa Samoa Livestock and Pasture Development
01/02/95 1 year $ 47 710 To increase meat, and in particular beef production, towards self-sufficiency in order to save scarce foreign exchange and achieve a more intensive utilization of natural resources. This is a follow-up to the project UNDP/SAM/86/003.
Samoa Milk Production Areas and Small Milk Processing Units
01/02/96 13 months $ 282 000 To create on each island a women's dairy association trained in dairy husbandry and, in particular, in forage production, in animal feeding, and in milk production and handling.
Samoa Apiculture Development Strategy
07/11/95 9 months $ 99 000 To assist the Government in preparing an Apiculture Development Strategy, identify the means by which the strategy can be implemented and initiate an action plan for implementation.
Solomon Islands Apiculture Development Strategy
31/05/94 1 year
2 months
$ 118 000 To develop an overall strategy for apiculture development, the means by which this can be implemented, and an action plan for its implementation.
Solomon Islands Strengthening of National Fisheries Capacity TCP/SOI/4553 30/06/95 10 months $ 81 000 To enable the Government to enhance its capacity to manage the fisheries sector.
Tonga Enhanced Fisheries Management for Food Security and Privatization
07/94 8 months $ 105 000 To enable the Government to manage better critical elements in the fisheries sector; to develop policies and programmes for inshore fisheries management; to strengthen the role of the private sector.
Tonga Training Coconut Wood Sawmilling and Utilization
31/03/94 9 months $ 98 000 To provide training in the use of a mobile sawmill in Matalibu Sawmill Centre, and analyse the potential of using the Centre as a national and regional centre for coconut wood utilization and development.
Tonga Agroforestry Development
28/03/94 1 year $ 150 000 To develop the potential for adoption of agroforestry as a land-use option for Tongan farmers.
Tonga Assistance in Dairy Processing
16/05/95 1 year $ 205 000 To increase and improve milk production and processing.
Tonga Management of National Fisheries Resources
04/93 1 year $ 144 000 To provide assistance to the Ministry of Fisheries, with a view to enhancing the formulation of programmes for fisheries management and development, including providing advice on appropriate organization and management systems for the newly-created Ministry.
Tonga Introduction of Rood and Tuber-Crop Germplasm
21/04/95 2 years $ 124,000 To strengthen existing institutional capacity to multiply and distribute foundation material to pilot multiplication and evaluation sites and to establish a crop information management system able to receive and manipulate crop statistics and production data for the purposes of comparative economic analysis.
Vanuatu Local Food Processing
06/04/95 1 year $ 181 000 To promote improved processing technologies at small and medium scale levels and encourage involvement of the private sector, at the national level.
Vanuatu Assistance to Agricultural Census
01/01/93 10 months $ 163 000  
Vanuatu Strengthening of National Fishery Policy
11/95 1 year $ 131 000 Enhancement of the Government capacity for better conservation, management, and development of the fisheries sector.
Regional Asia/Pacific Training to Improve Plant Quarantine Decision Making
01/01/92 1 year $ 122 925 To adapt and distribute a plant protection database and provide training and resources for its use.
Regional Asia/Pacific Cooperative Research on Interaction of Pacific Tuna Fisheries
05/91 3 years
8 months
$ 863 616 To improve procedures for collection and analysis of relevant data; to design additional procedures; and to develop new scientific methods for studying tuna fisheries interaction problems.
Regional Asia/Pacific Development of Comunity Based Coastal Fishery Management Systems for Asia and the Pacific
04/91 3 years
9 months
$ 398,230 To enhance awareness/knowledge among fisheries administrators, private industry, resource users and the public with a view to sustaining, in an environmentally sound manner, artisanal fisheries development.
Regional Asia/Pacific Case Studies on Traditional Marine Management Systems in South Pacific
01/93 3 years $ 47 000 To identify appropriate locations for three case studies, in order to provide documentation and assess particular traditional marine management practices and systems in the South Pacific.
Forestry Research Support Programme for Asia and the Pacific (FORSPA - Phase III)
03/96 4 years
3 months
$ 3 221 808 To enhance the capacity of member countries in Asia and the Pacific for undertaking forestry research for improved conservation and management of forest and tree resources.
Regional Asia/Pacific Increased Utilization of Local Root Crops
20/07/92 1 year
7 months
$ 211 000 To investigate various production technologies and provide basic training in root crop processing in Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.
Regional Asia/Pacific Increased Production/Export of Fresh Fruits by Control of Fruit Flies
29/06/93 6 months $ 130 000 To provide the Governments with technical assistance to ensure continuity of project activities pending start-up of the new UNDP project.
Regional Asia/Pacific South Pacific Regional Pasture Improvement
08/04/94 1 year
7 months
$ 339 500 To improve fodder and pasture technology through the dissemination of regionally significant technologies to key farmers and extension agents from other Pacific countries.
Regional Asia/Pacific Farming Systems Training for Sustainable Development
16/12/94 1 year
6 months
$ 278 000 To strengthen the capacity of agricultural and rural development professionals to identify and promote sustainable farming systems for farmers in the South Pacific Sub-Region.
Regional Asia/Pacific Forestry Research Support Programme for Asia-Pacific Region (FORSPA)
01/11/91 3 years
2 months
$ 1 780 000 To improve forestry research capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region in order to respond more effectively to the needs of the sector, and to contribute to enhancing the socio-economic well-being of populations.
Regional Asia/Pacific South Pacific Aquaculture Development Programme (Phase II)
04/94 5 years $ 2 666 498 To assist the inland countries in the South Pacific in their efforts to establish and develop economically and socially viable aquaculture industries.
Regional Asia/Pacific South Pacific Forestry Development Programme (Phase I)
01/01/92 3 years $ 930 701 To promote forest development in the countries of the South Pacific; assist Governments to design forestry sector plans, and programmes; to enhance institutional capability and utilize the educational and training facilities available; and to improve the utilization of coconut-wood.
Enhancement of Production and Export of Fresh Fruits by Control of Fruit Flies
10/12/93 3 years $ 408 100 To assist the countries in building national capacity to improve the production of fresh fruits and vegetables and to improve the prospects for export of these commodities in seven Pacific Island Nations.


Cook Islands TCPCKI/ Commercial Rootcrops 29/09/95 -
Cook Islands TCP/CKI/ Forestry Management 02/11/95 -
Fiji TCP/FIJ/ Fruits, Nuts and Spices 15/11/95 -
Fiji TCP/FIJ Wood Products Marketing 31/10/95 -
Fiji TCP/FIJ/ Coco Palm, Toddy and Kava 15/12/95 -
Fiji TCP/FIJ/6611 Strengthening Management Capacity of the Fisheries 19/01/96 -
Papua New Guinea GCP/PNG/ / National Conservation and Resource Management Programme 04/05/93 $ 4 579 500
Samoa TCP/SAM/ African Snail 10/01/96 -
Samoa TCP/SAM/ Dairy Processing /05/95 -
Samoa SAM/95/001/ / Livestock and Pasture Development 10/01/95 $ 52 000
Samoa SOI/95/ / Natural Forest Management and Wood Processing 20/10/93 $ 996 500
Tonga TCP/TON/ Tropical Forestry Action Plan 24/10/95 -
Tonga TCP/TON/ Strengthening Vavaiu Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 24/10/95 -
Tonga TCP/TON/ Agricultural Production and Utilisation Study 24/10/95 -
Tonga TCP/TON/ Agricultural Wharf Feasibility Study 24/10/95 -
Tonga TCP/TON/ Strengthening Agricultural Extension, MAPF 24/10/95 -
Tonga TCP/TON/ Processing and Marketing of Aloa Vera 24/10/95 -
Tonga TCP/TON/ Capacity-Building of Women in Ministry of Agriculture 24/10/95 -
Tonga TCP/TON/ Improved Cropping through Fertilizer Use 24/10/95 -
Tonga TCP/TON/ Development of Small Scale Tuna Long Lining 24/10/95 -
Tonga TCP/TON/ Fisheries Sector Study 24/10/95 -
Vanuatu VAN/ / / Fruit and Nut Trees Development 07/10/91 $ 770 440
Regional Asia/Pacific TCP/RAS/ Animal Health Information Systems 01/03/95 -
Regional Asia/Pacific GCP/RAS/ / Network Regional Support to the National Forestry Action Plan 02/08/94 $ 937 000
Regional Asia/Pacific GCP/RAS/ /AUL Sustainable Commercial Animal Production from Pastures 25/09/95 $ 2 296 800
Regional Asia/Pacific GCP/RAS/ /JPN Agricultural Education and Development Project (AEDEP) 22/02/95 $ 1 200 000
Regional Asia/Pacific GCP/RAS/162/JPN Strengthening Coutry Capacity in Forest Resources Assessment 26/06/95 $ 1 250 000
Regional Asia/Pacific GCP/RAS/ /DEN Fertilizer and Related Inputs Retailers' Training Project 21/01/94 $ 1 988 398
Regional Asia/Pacific RAS/AA/037/ / South Pacific Family Health and Welfare Food and Nutrition 15/06/90 $ 500 000
Regional Asia/Pacific RAS/AA/236/ / South Pacific Fisheries Support Programme 15/06/90 $ 3 000 000
Regional Asia/Pacific RAS/ / / Research and Development of Unexploited Food 09/11/94 -

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