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FAO supports breadfruit industry in the region

30/11/2017 Apia, Samoa

FAO emphasized its support for the breadfruit industry at the Pacific and Global Breadfruit Summit which was recently held in Samoa. The two-day Summit brought together Professors, Scientists, Food analysts, Economists and Farmers in Samoa and was co-funded by FAO.
 
The Subregional Coordinator of FAO, Eriko Hibi, spoke about the importance of the summit.
 
“It is significant that the Government of Samoa has chosen this occasion, at the time of the international commemoration of World Food Day, to remind us of the significance of a crop that has its roots in the history of the Pacific and is potentially a key to future food security and nutrition of people in the Pacific and beyond.

Because of the potential it offers, breadfruit is seen as a symbol of what FAO aims to pursue in the next five years in the Pacific.
 
First, it is a locally produced plentifully grown food crop with huge potential for domestic consumption. It can facilitate import substitution, which would result in an improved trade balance and reduced vulnerability to external shocks such as price fluctuations.
 
Secondly, breadfruit can help in the fight against non-communicable disease (NCDs) through improved nutrition. It is a safe whole food, supplying key vitamins and minerals, complex carbohydrates, while offering moderate energy free of gluten. In the fight against NCDs, breadfruit and taro and other traditional local crops have a significant role to play in improving nutrition in Samoa and in many other countries.
 
Thirdly, it is also a cash crop with huge potential for export, as flour or in other forms.  The future for developing niche export markets should not be underestimated as globally, consumers are looking towards products that are nutritious and readily available. 
 
Fourthly, promotion of agricultural crops such as breadfruit can be key to increasing job opportunities, reinvigorating the agriculture production and processing sectors, which would lead to increased livelihood opportunities for the youth.
 
With so much potential to offer, breadfruit is a symbol of hope for improved food security and nutrition in Samoa and beyond. That is why F.A.O has supported the work with the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa and the organization of this important Summit. I wish to raise a toast to the future of this amazing crop!”
 
The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Lopao’o Natanielu Mua said the meeting was about sharing the benefits of the breadfruit.  
 
“In terms of value adding, there has been considerable interest and drive in Hawaii, Caribbean and Pacific Islands to develop the most efficient economical way to process the fruit into flour and appropriate products made from the flour and to package breadfruit tips and frozen breadfruits chunks and slices.
 
He said in Samoa the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries continued to assist with the mass production of breadfruit planting material and dissemination of information regarding the production and maintenance of the crop. 

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