THE Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the European Union have announced the signing of a new $20million (8.6million euros) EU-funded regional project that will be implemented by the SPC's Land Resources Division (LRD).
According to a statement, the four-year Pacific Agriculture Policy Project (PAPP) will be implemented across the 15 Pacific ACP countries including Fiji.
SPC director general Dr Jimmie Rodgers said: "The project will address the development needs of the commercial and smallholder agriculture sectors in the Pacific region by providing a clear, evidence-based framework for sector development, assisting the sectors to link to markets through group marketing and facilitating access to productivity-enhancing technologies.
"This project also aims to enhance food security in the region by promoting greater co-ordination and co-operation of agriculture sector activities."
Andrew Jacobs, the EU's Pacific delegation head, said: "Our intention is to enhance the regional and interregional capabilities of agricultural sectors in eradicating poverty. The growing dependence of Pacific Islands on imported food is a problem, so there is a need for greater action and co-ordination. The SPC is well-placed to provide the know-how in the regional framework and the European Union is a keen partner."
This project will address the needs of farm households rather than individual farmers, focusing on the needs of women and youth.