October 2017


Women empowerment to further agriculture in the Pacific

Over 50 women and men farmer leaders, partners and stakeholders from ten Pacific Islands gathered for the inaugural Pacific Women in Agriculture (PWiA) Forum in Port Vila, Vanuatu on 16 October 2017. The inaugural meeting focused around the theme “Inspire, Innovate, Impower”. The forum heard that while women and girls are significant contributors to food production in the Pacific and most vulnerable during natural disasters, their voices are seldom heard at community, national, regional and global levels.

The workshop was organised to coincide with the Pacific Week of Agriculture currently underway in Vanuatu that week October 16 – 20. It provided an opportunity for participants to share success stories and the challenges they encountered in their respective countries. Ronald Hartman, IFAD’s Pacific Country Director in his official opening remarks stressed the importance of empowering women as they tend to invest back into their families, communities and economy. “All women need to be empowered, to have more influence in decision making and to address gender inequalities in the agriculture context. Women in agriculture also need our support and to have access to models that work and can be replicated.”

The one-day workshop organized to support Pacific women in agriculture ended with an outcome statement that called on government and development partners to actively support women farmers in the Pacific to ensure that their rights are protected. It also called for allocating dedicated funding for farmers organisations focusing on leadership and management capacities to run specific women’s spaces with their male counterparts in farming organisations.

The event was organised by the Pacific Islands Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON) in partnership with the Pacific Islands Association of Non Governmental Organisation (PIANGO) with funding from the International Fund for Agricultural Development under the Medium Term Cooperation Programme for farmer organisations in Asia and the Pacific Phase II (MTCP II) project.

Women invest back into their families, communities and economy.


PIFON partners with the University of the Sunshine Coast to implement PARDI 2

The Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON) is very proud and equally excited to partner with the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) of Australia in implementing the second phase of the Pacific Agribusiness Research in Development Initiative (PARDI) project. PARDI 2 builds on the achievements of its predecessor, PARDI which was implemented over the period 2010-2015 aimed to provide sustainable livelihood improvements in Pacific island countries (PICs). The FJD 4.2 million (AU$ 2.6 m) project is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and will be implemented over 4 years to be completed in June 2021.

PIFON has been a part of the project design from its early stages and fully supports its overall objectives, implementing partners and proposed methodology. PIFON believes that farmer organizations have a critical role in agricultural research and extension in the region and as such see PARDI 2 as a unique opportunity to build new partnerships and ensure smallholder farmer engagement throughout PARDI 2 and future ACIAR initiatives.

The overall aim of PARDI 2 is ‘to identify and understand how agribusiness development opportunities can contribute to improved economic growth and livelihoods in the Pacific islands’. This 4 year project will be active in Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga.

A two-day inception workshop for PARDI 2 was held at the South Sea Orchids conference facility in Nasau, Nadi, Fiji Islands from 25th October.

Approximately 30 participants attended the workshop and included representatives from the various Pacific partners namely, SPC, USP, PIDF, PIPSO and Pacific Island Government Ministries, Australian Government development and trade initiatives such as PHAMA, MDF, M4C, and related donor and NGO activities and agribusinesses (private sector) in the Pacific.


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