The challenges for the agriculture sector in the Pacific are immense. As small island states, they face special problems of scale, isolation and lack of resources but also significant vulnerability to natural disasters and climate change. However, there are opportunities to be gained by leveraging digital and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems, collaborating on common sector priorities, and promoting niche products from the sub-region. As small island states with limited resources, much can be gained from collaborating for regional or complementary approaches.
One such approach is around using a standard system that is adaptable to meet each national government’s priorities, for organizing, sharing and disseminating information among key stakeholders particularly government agriculture policies, statistics, markets, value chain, research and extension etc.
The Pacific Agriculture Policy Banks (APB) are an online repository of key National Agriculture Policy documents – covering sector and sub-sector plans/policy documents, statistics, key commodities and other relevant information – which enable increased access to official agriculture sector information to all stakeholders, nationally and internationally. There are currently 70 agricultural sector policies now available for 15 Pacific Countries through the Agriculture Policy Bank.
Their purpose is to increase the reach and awareness around agriculture sector information, particularly policies, plans and strategies, to improve engagement with farmers and other stakeholders. They also serve as a central point of reference for policy makers, development partners and other stakeholders to compare policies between countries in the region, guide decision making, and to inform negotiations of agricultural policies and investments. The inclusion of summaries of key policy documents translated into local vernacular improve accessibility of this information to farmers, and are supported by government outreach to rural stakeholders using cross media platforms such as radio broadcasts, television, online platforms, websites, and print programmes.
Direct link to the country policy banks can be found here: http://pafpnet.spc.int/policy-bank