9 September 2015
(Vanuatu and Pacific region) – A Pacific region knowledge management workshop is taking place this week in Vanuatu to develop new ideas on how to give farmers better access to agriculture policies, research and information.
Hosting this event is important for Vanuatu given 54 per cent of its total household income is from agriculture and forestry activities, with this reflected in its progressive national Information Communication Technology (ICT) policy that has a focus on agricultural growth.
The ‘Strengthening Regional Knowledge Management Capacities’ workshop is a collaborative effort between the European Union’s Pacific Agriculture Policy Project (PAPP), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and Vanuatu’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Forestry and Biosecurity.
The Africa Caribbean Pacific (ACP)-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is also contributing to the workshop.
Farmers typically work in remote areas making it difficult for agricultural extension officers to reach them regularly and keep them informed about the latest policies.
To address this challenge, agriculture, forestry and fisheries officers, local social media reports plus communication professionals from up to 15 Pacific countries are attending the workshop.
The First Political Advisor for Vanuatu’s Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity, Roy James Matariki, said it is timely for Vanuatu to host this regional event given its agriculture policy was recently released and this week it launches a new policy bank.
“One can have all the information you want in the world, but if it is not shared to create vertical and horizontal linkages with society to create change and to help advance development in our country, such information can be fairly meaningless,” said Mr Matariki.
“In that regard, the information knowledge management workshop is very important. We want people to know more about what we are doing,” he said.
The Deputy Director of SPC’s Land Resources Division, Dr Ken Cokanasiga, said the workshop is timely, corresponding with the Government of Vanuatu receiving the United Nations and International Telecommunications Union award for Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
“We’re here to address the gaps and challenges of sharing information to develop better ways of conveying important policy information to farmers and farmer groups,” Dr Cokanasiga said.
The regional knowledge management workshop is raising awareness of the importance of knowledge management to agricultural and forestry stakeholders and ends today.
It will be followed by a second, national workshop on 10 September, the ‘Vanuatu National Agricultural Policy Awareness and Implementation Workshop’, which will brief participants on the recently released 2015-2030 Vanuatu Agriculture Sector Policy’s, including its purpose, implementation plan and the roles of key stakeholders.
This will conclude tomorrow evening with the launch of the Vanuatu Agriculture Policy Bank, an online library that provides translated summaries of key agriculture policy documents in English, French and Bislama.
The PAPP-developed policy bank is hosted on SPC’s Pacific Agriculture and Forestry Policy Network (PAFPNet) portal (www.spc.int/pafpnet) and will also be part of a mixed-media rural outreach programme in Vanuatu.
[PAPP is part of the Intra-ACP Agricultural Policy Programme, supported by the EUand the ACP group of States, under the Intra-ACP cooperation].
CAPTION: 54% of Vanuatu’s total household income is from agriculture and forestry activities.