FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
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Visiting students learn about food systems in Samoa

FAO Agribusiness consultant, Shukrullah Sherzad (L) with students from the University of NSW

Undergraduate students from from the University of New South Wales, Australia visited the FAO Subregional office while on a study tour to learn about food systems and the role of FAO in Samoa.

Assistant FAO Representative, Mr Philip Tuivavalagi welcomed the students and explained the long-term commitment FAO has to mainstreaming food security and nutrition. “Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO's efforts – to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives”.

There was significant interest shown by the students regarding issues of postharvest waste in Samoa.

To explain postharvest waste, FAO Agribusiness consultant, Shukrullah Sherzad commented. "Postharvest waste is a major issue for Samoa, not only does it reduce smallholder farmer profit but it decreases the amount of fruit and vegetables available for sale to consumers". He continued. “A significant proportion of the postharvest loss occurred in the municipal markets, and to a lesser extent through on-farm harvest practices.  

The students were accompanied by Senior Lecturer in Geography, Mr Alec Thornton. “The students are doing small research projects for their course. Many of the projects concern agriculture such as postharvest, cash cropping and including opportunities for women”, said Thornton.