Boost for Samoa’s livestock industry

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The recent arrival of 110 sheep in Samoa from Fiji is expected to triple sheep numbers from the present 700 to more than 3,000 in the next decade. The move is a major boost for Samoa’s fledgling sheep industry. Despite being a major consumer of meat products, approximately 60 per cent of the meat in Samoa is imported.

A Government project that aims to support farmers and the commercial viability of Samoa’s agriculture sector titled the Samoa Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Project, financed by the World Bank and managed by FCG ANZDEC, funded the consignment of sheep from Fiji. The breed imported was specially selected for its high fertility potential, tolerance to heat, self-shedding and ability to survive well under low nutrition.

The project’s focus on developing long-term, sustainable solutions for livestock sector challenges is a first for Samoa and will prove crucial to improving future stock bloodlines, a World Bank media release says. The new breeding animals will supplement the government’s flock on Togitogiga Farm, to service various private sector “multiplier” farms established under the programme. From here, breeding stock will be made available to existing and new commercial farmers who are interested in expanding their flocks.

In addition to the breeding programme, the project will provide training to encourage better husbandry practices and stock management. The introduction of new field slaughter facilities in Upolu and Savai’i will also facilitate improvements in the quality, hygiene and competitiveness of Samoan meat.