Justification for the Initiative
IRETA in 2010 took over the USP-SAFT livestock farm as a profit orientated commercialized enterprise. This initiative has led to the demise of the institute by focusing mainly on making money rather than fulfilling its other main activities, namely, agricultural technical trainings, research funding, consultancy, dissemination of information through workshops and publications and collaborations with academicians. In 2019, the USP through the then Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics finally decided to close down IRETA and its unviable commercialized activity.
In 2020 through consultation between USP-SAFT and the current Vice Chancellor and President of the USP, Professor Pal Ahluwalia, all have alluded to the importance of the institute as the main outreach arm of the school to the region, mainly through technical trainings and demonstration crops and livestock systems. The VCP suggested that SAFT could reinstate and rename the institute. By doing so, SAFT would have to propose for funding through the university’s new initiatives. The outcome of these recommendations resulted in this application and CARE became the institute’s proposed name.
CARE’s intent is to revitalize the importance of agricultural outreach programs, trainings and workshops; publishing of relevant agricultural information pamphlets and to reactivate the relationship between SAFT and all its agricultural stakeholders, and to recreate the missing link between the international and regional funding agencies. Furthermore, the institute will be involved in developing of small-scale crops and livestock production units as demonstration sites for farmers and other agricultural stakeholders and for students’ academic activities at the same, to generate income for the center’s activities.
CARE has its own office buildings and lodge to cater and to host all kinds of trainings within the region. Samoa Campus has ample prime land for agricultural activities, and CARE will make use and utilize these lands.
The mandate of CARE included among other things:
- Source funding
- Conduct agricultural research
- Disseminate information through training, workshops and publication
- Consultancy services
- Provide sponsorship to students
- Collaborate with USP academics and students
- Small scale semi commercialized production systems (demonstration)
Operational plan for the Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (CARE) – Under the New Initiative Funding:
It anticipated that through this New Initiative the initial CARE operational plan aims at three main activities to kick start its operations of 2021, such as:
- Revitalization and showcasing of sustainable agricultural production systems and, on farm income generating activities:
- Crops (short-term crops (vegetables, yams, cassava, taro, banana, sweet potato) and long-term crops (cocoa, coconut, coffee etc.), as Integrated Farming Systems Demonstration on 2-4 acres of land.
- Revival of the Livestock Farm (layer and piggery units), as demonstration farms by refurbishing and restocking of the old piggery and chicken units
- Technical Training Workshop, two to be offered on Crops and Livestock to the line department field staff in Samoa, and if finance permits, to other regional islands.
- Consultancy services on the development of Value Chain for locally produced Agricultural products (Two crops: Bread Fruit and Taro)