A $190,000 Poultry Breeding Unit was launched at Vaea yesterday afternoon.
The building and accessories including the three incubators were provided under the funding assistance from the World Bank via the S.A.C.E.P. project.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Lopao’o Natanielu Mu’a, said the breeding facility would improve the production and distribution capacity of poultry farming and in return benefit farmers, food security and the agriculture sector.
“The breeding programme initiative will develop new knowledge and experiences that are relevant in increasing quality national stock for production and consumption, to delivering national food security objectives,” he said.
“This will assist our farmers in realising new potentials and opportunities within cost-effective assistance to be introduced by the Ministry in accordance with sustainable development.”
Lopao’o added one of the long term objectives of this project is to ensure the achievement of a significant and realistic programme based on import substitution.
“As you may know, Samoa is one of the largest chicken meat importers amongst the Pacific island countries, with annual imports and associated economic leakage costs, of about 10,000 tonnes of frozen chicken meat products and $20 million tala per annum, over the last 10 years,” he said.
“It is also important to note that Samoa has less than 500,000 free range chickens at any one time.
“So we still have a long way to go in our ability to reduce chicken meat imports, however, this is a start.”
He also encouraged his staff to work closely with poultry farmers and producers in the private sector, to develop a sustainable poultry industry for obvious economic and social developments in the country and especially in the rural areas for sustainable development goals achievement.
“The facility will also be used by the Ministry to conduct hands-on training programmes for chicken farmers to transfer relevant skills and techniques on quality-improved chicken production practices,” said Lopao’o.
“I would like to acknowledge with much appreciation the assistance of the World Bank in the sustainable development of Agriculture to meet our national economic priority objectives of our Samoa Development Strategy.”