Enhancing productiveness and making certain sustainable agricultural methods in Samoa | FAO

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Samoa, Fiji, Niue, and Vanuatu account for about 25 p.c of the land space and 28 p.c of the threatened plant and animal species of the south-western fringe of the Polynesia-Micronesia Biodiversity Hotspot. Lately, FAO has been serving to defend ecosystems right here by the Forestry and Protected Space Administration (FPAM) venture, which operates beneath the International Surroundings Facility Pacific Alliance for Sustainability (GEF-PAS). The FPAM venture is designed to strengthen biodiversity conservation, scale back forest and land degradation, and improve the sustainable livelihoods of native communities. As a part of the venture, three Group Conservation Areas have been established in 2016 on the Samoan island of Savai’i aiming to guard distinctive highland cloud forests. Already, the funding is paying off for the atmosphere and native farmers on Savai’i.

FAO is working with the Authorities of Samoa in supporting three Group Conservation Areas throughout eight villages on the island of Savai’i. The conservation areas purpose to protect biodiversity and preserve the ecosystem providers of intact forest protected areas, primarily within the highlands. These highland forests – sometimes called cloud forests – are 600 metres or extra above sea stage.

Beneath the slogan “Wholesome ecosystems, Wholesome meals, Wholesome individuals”, FAO and its companions have arrange demonstration farms to point out famers learn how to enhance productiveness, promote sustainable agriculture in lowland forest ecosystems, and enhance individuals’s diets, well being and incomes.

The demonstration farms within the villages of Taga, Gataivai and Matautu use tunnel homes and a wide range of various kinds of farm tools and natural agricultural methods. FAO is working in cooperation with the Samoa Farmers Affiliation and Girls in Enterprise Growth Integrated in coaching farmers in sustainable land administration methods.

To this point, greater than 120 farmers have participated in coaching. Actions have included the applying of agroforestry methods, compost preparation, inexperienced manure and crop rotation, natural pest administration, contour planting and different measures to keep away from soil erosion.

Girls’s committee takes cost
In Taga, the demonstration farm is managed by the village girls’s committee. Fruit and vegetable varieties on the farm embody Chinese language cabbage, eggplant, chilies, okra, lettuce, water spinach, papaya, water melon, inexperienced pepper, tomatoes and bananas. As well as, root crops reminiscent of taro varieties and yams have been distributed to the group, whereas fruit bushes reminiscent of Tahitian lime and rambutan have additionally been planted.

The ladies’s group actively works on the demonstration farm, benefitting immediately from the newly-learned methods. Most of the individuals apply the identical information on their very own farms by utilizing seedlings from the demonstration farm to supply a big number of fruit and veggies.

New strategies and different crops that profit households
Native Taga farmer Notoa Sione used to trek routinely to the highlands to plant taro. “Planting taro this fashion is time consuming and really arduous work,” he says. He now has a farm made from a number of massive plots near the household dwelling the place he grows a wide range of inexperienced greens, tomatoes, eggplant, chillies and cabbage, along with taro. He additionally provides to distributors within the space.

Sione notes that, in comparison with taro, Chinese language cabbage grows quick and has a excessive yield, leading to greater earnings for him and his household. Grateful for the venture and the information and methods he has realized, he has now established his personal nurseries to develop seedlings for transplanting to his farm.

Lemalu Sami Lemalu, FAO’s FPAM Samoa Undertaking Coordinator, explains that farmers plant taro within the highlands by clear-cutting the virgin forests, which develop on fertile soils. This farming methodology destroys each the forests and their capability to retain and filter water. With the protecting forest cowl eliminated, soil erosion and flash floods disrupt the native water provide and result in sedimentation of the protecting reefs and detrimental impacts on fisheries.

The FPAM venture has as a substitute proven farmers methods of manufacturing a wide range of greens and fruits nearer to dwelling within the lowlands. These new methods not solely contribute to farmers’ well being and diet but in addition generate further earnings. Importantly, they achieve this with out destroying the highland forests which are important for the island’s ecological stability.

Seeing optimistic progress and outcomes
Because the begin of the venture in January 2016, farmers on Savai’i’ve already produced crops with an estimated worth of US$115 000. Although the farmers eat a lot of the produce themselves, they’ve nonetheless managed to promote crops value a powerful US$67 000.

Finally, they’re each in a position to develop nutritious meals in a sustainable method and make a revenue.

Establishing conservation areas within the Pacific
The FAO/GEF FPAM Undertaking covers Samoa, Fiji, Niue, and Vanuatu. Its international environmental goal is to strengthen biodiversity conservation and scale back forest land degradation in these international locations.



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