School of Agriculture and Food Technology (SAFT)


Research & Services

SAFT made significant progress in research in recent years despite inadequacies in research equipment and tools. Some of the research activities are summarized below:

  • The Discipline of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Education continued to conduct research on various aspects of the socio-economics of crop and livestock production, farmer participation in agricultural production and productivity, and some aspects of agricultural extension and agricultural education. During the year, SAFT appointed a lecturer who will handle the area of rural sociology. He is the first ever SAFT academic staff in Rural Sociology.

  • In the field of Animal Science, research on the use of locally available feedstuff in livestock production continued - with emphasis on ruminants (cattle, sheep and goat) and on monogastric livestock (poultry and pig). Research on the 'Integrated Duck-Fish-Chicken Production System' continued, and the Graduate Assistant (GA), appointed to execute her MSc degree research on the system, is expected to complete her project during 2005.

  • The Crop Science Discipline continued its research on the management of the Taro Leaf Blight (TLB) disease by breeding, selection, and field-testing of more taro cultivars - with the aim of identifying additional varieties that are resistant/tolerant to this disease, while being acceptable to taro consumers. Successful breeding for TLB resistant varieties resulted in the release of over 10 elite taro varieties to growers across the region. Cycle 4 breeding for TLB resistance has been completed and 12 varieties from it and from cycle 3 have been screened for the top 5 resistant varieties to be used in 'backcross' breeding in 2005. The Department also continued research on mixed cropping, varietal trials with tomato, pest and disease management in vegetables and ornamental plants, nursery management, and on the interdisciplinary research on 'the Effect of Environmental Factors on Kavalactone Content by Ava (Kava) in Samoa. The Department also commenced research on indigenous vegetables.

  • As in 2003, research in the area of Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering continued on the 'Development of Integrated Approaches for Sustainable Crop Production in Environmentally Constrained Systems in the South Pacific Region" - an EU-funded Project with the acronym 'CROPPRO'. The overall objective of the project is to develop farming tools and expertise needed for the sustenance of profitable crop production whilst minimizing soil erosion and land degradation in environmentally-constrained systems, such as in the case of watersheds. A Graduate Assistant is presently conducting his MSc research on the project.

In addition to the CROPPRO project, the Department continued research on 'Operation, Safety and Maintenance of Agricultural Tractors'. Furthermore, the Department put forward a plan for research on ‘Soil Quality Testing’, and applied for the allocation of a Graduate Assistant to conduct research on this project.

The above research activities of the School of Agriculture and Food Technology were in addition to the degree research projects executed by postgraduate and final year undergraduate students under the supervision of SAFT academic staff.

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Page updated: Tuesday, August 15, 2017
School of Agriculture and Food Technology (SAFT)
Faculty of Business and Economics
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