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Gender inclusion and Pacific values affirmed in new organic agriculture strategy launch
A ground-breaking gender inclusive people-centred approach marks a new organic agriculture strategy for the Pacific, launched in Suva, Fiji.
The five-year strategy, managed by the Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community (POETCom) of the Pacific Community is also leading edge by placing greater emphasis on Pacific values, traditions and cultures through better understanding of Pacific approaches to decision making, as well as expanding POETCom’s organic certification training and policy development programmes. POETCom is a project of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Land Resources Division.
As POETCom’s first post-COVID-19 long-term initiative to harness the continued enthusiasm for organics throughout the Pacific, the new strategy focuses on resilience and growth in organic agriculture, a sector hit hard by the pandemic.
In his key address Mr Kevin Petrini, UNDP Deputy Resident for UNDP said that “POETCom’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan represents the key contributor to sustaining the Pacific cultures and communities, improving farmer livelihoods, people’s health and the environment in the Pacific. This supports UNDP’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan in key impact areas providing expanded livelihood opportunities for Pacific producers.”
The POETCom launch was attended by representatives from the Australian High Commission, UNDP, UNWomen, Fiji’s Agriculture and Trade ministries; Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development and POETCom members and Participatory Guarantee System groups, including Loving Islands, Fung’s Farm, Fiji Organic Queens Association, Cicia Organic Monitoring Agency and Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development (FRIEND).
“What is exciting about this new strategy is the inclusion of gender and acknowledging the significant role women play in agriculture in the Pacific, said Ms. Sashi Kiran, Director of the FRIEND. “As a representative from the POETCom membership, we welcome this inclusion, and look forward to being able to measure gender impact in the Pacific moving forward.”
The Strategic Plan will run from 2021 through to 2025. As POETCom expands its inclusivity, it looks to lead a post-COVID organic Pacific that is food secure, healthy and resilient.
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The Pacific Organic & Ethical Trade Community (POETCom) is a not-for-profit membership organisation housed as a program of the Pacific Community (SPC). POETCom’s membership spans 15 countries and territories of the Pacific Islands region. It includes farmer support organisations, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and research institutions. Through partnerships and spirited engagement, we share information, coordinate and support networking and build capacity. POETCom has established a regional certification scheme to support the growth of the organic and ethical trade movement and to contribute to a productive, resilient, sustainable and healthy Pacific Islands region.