In the Pacific up to 80% of Pacific Island populations depend directly or indirectly on the agricultural sector as their major source of livelihood, and for food and social security.
However, agricultural productivity across the region has stagnated or declined over the past 40 years. A major threat faced by Pacific islands is their growing dependence on imported food, as a result of the limited capacity of their smallholder agriculture sector to supply and satisfy the needs of the domestic market.
The challenge for policy makers and agriculture sector stakeholders is to obtain greater food security for the region by encouraging the large proportion of semi-subsistence farmers to move into commercial production through sustained access to competitive markets. Improvement of domestic market infrastructure, local value-added processing, and development of regional markets for a diversity of Pacific crops would build on and support the desirable aspects of traditional farming systems.
The European Union Pacific Agriculture Policy Project (PAPP) is part of the EDF 10 Intra ACP Agriculture Policy Programme with the Caribbean region. The Technical Centre for Rural and Agricultural Development (CTA) will coordinate interregional exchanges between the Pacific and the Caribbean. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is a collaborating partner.
PAPP will operate in the Pacific ACPs (Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu), and Timor Leste. PAPP is implemented by the Land Resources Division (LRD) of the Secretariat of the Pacific Commission (SPC).
The target groups are the Ministries of Agriculture and Forestry of Pacific ACP governments to assist them to develop effective national evidence-based agriculture sector policies and interventions to ensure competitiveness of smallholder farmers’ participation in agriculture based development.
The project will work with farmer associations in partnership with national extension and research services to assist in the adoption of new farming methods to improve their agricultural productivity, and increase their resilience against the effects of climate change.
PAPP Steering Committee
The PAPP Steering Committee (PSC) was established to provide high level governance and strategic direction for PAPP, ensuring that it meets its objectives. All the 15 PICs covered by PAPP are represented in the Committee, with the EU and CTA as observers. The SPC provides Secretariat support to the PSC.