Training critical for effective project implementation

TRAINING is critical in ensuring that there is necessary capacity in our countries to effectively implement agricultural projects funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Assistant Minister for Agriculture Viam Pillay raised this while opening the 2nd International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Pacific Portfolio Review and Financial Management and Procurement workshop in Nadi on Monday.

While we cannot afford problem projects, Mr Pillay in a statement said resources directed towards Pacific Island countries were wasted when not put to good effect.

“Increasing resources channelled by IFAD to the Pacific will be an exercise in futility if we as Pacific Islanders do not implement our projects within the given timeframe and do not produce the desired results and expected outcomes,” he said.

The week-long workshop held at the Tanoa Skylodge Hotel in Nadi include representatives of Pacific Island countries who were also urged to fully implement aid from development partners.

Mr Pillay said the training workshop was timely because of the exponential rate of growth of IFAD’s portfolio in the Pacific.

“To date IFAD is one of the fastest growing financial institutions in the Pacific with projects successfully reaching outer islands, the highlands and remote areas where few partners have worked and even fewer have made sustainable impacts,” he said.

IFAD’s country director for Indonesia and the Pacific Ron Hartman said the organisation’s business model was to work in partnership with member countries to support the achievement of sustainable development goals and national development targets.

Mr Hartman also reiterated the need for project managers to effectively manage investment projects and programs as the success of projects was reliant on good practices. IFAD’s engagement in the Pacific Islands has expanded significantly in the past six years. IFAD’s total investment in the Pacific has grown from as little as US$200,000 ($F414,200m) in 2007 to over US$140m in 2017.

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