22 November 2023, Apia, Samoa – Fish and fishing are important to Samoa, both economically and socially. In 2007, over half of all exports of the country consisted of fishery products, and about a quarter of all households received some income from fishing.
To that effect, The University of the South Pacific is thrilled to announce the completion of Samoa’s first batch of graduates in the micro qualification training on establishing and operating a small seafood business.
This was made possible through the European Union and the Government of Sweden-funded Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) Programme.
Assistant Chief Executive Officer (A.C.E.O) for the Fisheries Division at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Roseti Imo said, “Food security and the well-being of farmers and fishers drive most of the programs of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.”
“Having a thriving small business community that can add value to what we produce from the land and the ocean will be beneficial not just to business owners but will certainly be a wonderful injection into the Samoan economy.”
The micro-qualification targets small-scale seafood businesses, entrepreneurs, market vendors, fishers and seafood sellers.
According to USP PEUMP Researcher and coordinator of this Samoa training, Sera Vaniqi, “It’s critical that professionals in the field have access to relevant and practical training as the seafood industry continues to evolve. Our Micro-Qualification in Establishing and Operating a Small Seafood Business is tailored to meet these needs, equipping individuals with the knowledge and skills to thrive in this dynamic sector.”
The holder of this qualification will gain knowledge and skills on the fundamentals of establishing and operating a small business, marketing for small businesses, developing customer-driven marketing strategies, basic bookkeeping, and writing a business plan.
Lolofi Poalaga, a small seafood business owner, expressed gratitude for the eye-opening training, noting its potential to expand and think innovatively about business operations.
“Our business so far has been running to sustain our family’s needs. This training has opened my eyes to the possibility of expanding our business further. To think outside the box,” she added.
This training will be followed by other upskilling programmes such as seafood safety and quality, value chain analysis, upscaling community-based management, financial literacy and leadership training.
USP is one of four key implementing partners of the PEUMP Programme, a EUR 45 million program which promotes sustainable management and sound ocean governance for food security and economic growth while addressing climate change resilience and conservation of marine biodiversity.
It follows a comprehensive approach, integrating issues related to ocean fisheries, coastal fisheries, community development, marine conservation and capacity building under one single regional action. The PEUMP Programme is housed within the Institute of Marine Resources within the School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS).