Pacific News Briefs

compiled by Samoa News staff

SAMOA FROZEN AGRO-EXPORTS NOT EXCLUSIVE TO TARO —

Frozen taro is not the only export agro commodity on demand overseas.

In fact, according to the Minister of Agriculture Laaulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao Fosi, who returned last week from launching the Samoa frozen taro in New Zealand, distributors there are demanding other frozen produce from Samoa such as yams, (taamu) cassavas, (manioka, ufi) and breadfruit, (ulu) bananas, (fai) all processed locally at the ministry’s Nu’u location.

“The container of mixed frozen products shipped to New Zealand sold like hot cupcakes,” said the Minister. “And they want more.”

To that effect, the Minister has tasked the Nu’u Crops Division in charge of the frozen export drive for all systems go.

Laaulialemalietoa says that with the new export outlet secured, regular shipments will be made to New Zealand.

The next shipment will be arriving in Auckland on August 9th.

While for Wellington and Christchurch the 20-foot container from Apia should arrive on September 16th.

Added the Agriculture Minister, “The frozen technology has opened the gateway for our agricultural exports however we need to look at sustainability and consistency.

“Government long ago knew that there were markets waiting for Samoa but we did not have enough local crops to meet that market.”

Through the Samoa frozen concept, markets in Sydney and Brisbane Australia have been secured for Samoa’s frozen agro produce. Three 20-foot containers are shipping to Australia on a monthly basis.

The Minister concluded, “More export markets translate to more income for our taro farmers. Government will continue to work with our agricultural stakeholders to improve the income power that will contribute to our foreign reserves.

 “To that end, the message from government to our farmers is simple.

“We are opening up the export market for your benefit and farmers must do their part by working the land to take advantage of our new markets. 

 “The benefits for our farmers are astronomical,” he concluded.

[Source: M.P.M.C. Press Secretary]

NATIONAL HIV, AIDS AND STI POLICY APPROVED BY SAMOA CABINET

The Samoa Cabinet has approved the National HIV, AIDS and STI Policy for 2017 - 2022. The policy is designed to guide multi sectoral response for the prevention and elimination of HIV/AIDS and the transmission of Sexual Transmitted Infections.

There are eight principles to guide the implementation of the National Policy:

1.         Law, confidentiality and the Rights of people living with HIV/AIDS;

2.         Prevention;

3.         HIV and STI testing;

4.         HIV and STI Treatment and Care;

5.         Gender Based Violence and Sexual Reproductive Health Services;

6.         Research, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation;

7.         Sectoral role and finances;

8.         National Strategy and 2016-2017 Plan of Action

[Source: M.P.M.C. Press Secretary]

HAWAIIAN AIRLINES PROFIT CLIMBS 1% IN SECOND QUARTER

Hawaiian Airlines earnings rose just over 1 percent during the second quarter of 2017, according to the Star Advertiser.

It notes that Hawaiian Holdings Inc., the parent company of the state’s largest carrier, reported that it had net income of $80.4 million, or $1.50 per share, compared with $79.6 million, or $1.48 per share, in the same period a year ago. Revenue rose 13.6 percent to just over $675 million from nearly $595 million in the second quarter of 2016.

“Our string of outstanding results continued into the second quarter,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Airlines president and CEO, in a statement. “These results have come courtesy of strong demand for the Hawaii vacation, low fuel prices, moderate industry capacity, and an excellent job done by my colleagues in finding new ways to strengthen our performance. My thanks go to all of Hawaiian’s employees who contributed to our terrific financial and operational performance.”

Hawaiian, which is in its 88th year of service, offers nonstop service to Hawai’i from 11 U.S. cities, along with service from Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa and Tahiti.

[Source: Star Bulletin]

PACIFIC COMMUNITY FOCUSES ON DEVELOPMENT & PARTNERSHIPS

NOUMEA, NEW CALEDONIA – July 26, 2017 - More than 40 member country representatives and development partners are attending the 10th Conference of the Pacific Community (SPC) for the next two days in Noumea.

The theme for the high-level dialogue for this Conference, which will also mark SPC’s 70th anniversary, is “Innovative Partnerships for Sustainable Development.”

A series of key-note speakers will take the floor to contribute to the dialogue, including, H.E. Hilda Heine, President of the Republic of Marshall Islands; Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency; Pascal Lamy, High Level Facilitator for out-reach activities on the Post-Cotonou Agreement.

The Director-General of the Pacific Community, Dr Colin Tukuitonga said the high-level meeting this week is crucial for sustaining the strategic direction of the Pacific region’s largest development organisation.

“This year SPC marks its 70th Anniversary and we’re delighted to celebrate this milestone during our governing body conference here at the SPC Headquarters in Noumea. The Pacific Community exists to support the development aspirations of our Pacific Island members and it is therefore paramount that we engage our member delegations and our partners to steer the strategic direction of the organisation and ensure the effective delivery of work,” Dr Tukuitonga said.

The Chair of 10th Conference, Mr Philippe Germain, President of the New Caledonia Government, said “This is the first time that a president of the Government of New Caledonia is chairing this Conference. It is a lofty mission that I view as a powerful lever for our contribution to the region’s development and outreach. I see chairing this very important Pacific island intergovernmental organisation as an opportunity to move to a new level. To do that, I will have two years during which I intend to propose a roadmap that is both ambitious and needed to strengthen our ‘regionalism’.”

The Conference comes after two days of the organisation’s annual governance meeting, the 47th Meeting of the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA 47).

High on the agenda for this meeting was the implementation of key priorities for the Framework for Pacific Regionalism and a high-level discussion on the Pacific Youth Development Framework, a regional approach to youth-centred development in the Pacific, coordinated by SPC and the Pacific Youth Council and discussions around the continued effective implementation and monitoring of SPC’s five-year strategic plan.

SPC will also celebrate its 70th anniversary with its 26 member countries and territories and partners at a Gala Dinner on Friday, 28 July.

[Source: Media release, SPC]

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