Famer Organisations (FOs) are now starting to emerge in the Pacific islands to play a lead role in providing relevant information for farmers to effectively participate in supply chains.  It is now widely accepted that FOs in the Pacific will need to play a critical role in empowering rural people to take advantage of economic livelihood opportunities.

FOs in the Pacific currently depend on a high level of donor support.  Such support is inevitable and necessary during the initial development phase.  However, this support has often been sporadic and fragmented, disrupting the flow of activities.  In many cases, the FOs themselves have not been able to clearly articulate their needs and therefore funds are not secured and when they are secured, they are misdirected or underutilized.  In this situation, there are two interrelated challenges facing FOs in the Pacific:

  • How to develop business activities that provide sufficient income for the sustainability of the organisation and yet don’t detract from core values and objectives.
  • How to use donor/government funding wisely to facilitate longer term sustainability.

PIFON’s Rationale And Concept

The Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON) is intended to serve as an umbrella organisation for national FOs, to coordinate capacity building, share success stories and the lessons learnt, support regional exchanges of expertise between FOs and their associated private sector and donor agency partners.

Foundation Conference

PIFONs Foundation Conference was held on Monday, April 15 in Nadi, Fiji.  In attendance were representatives of 13 FOs from across the region.  The Conference endorsed the adoption of PIFONs Memorandum and Articles of Association, elected the Board of Directors, appointed the Secretariat; and endorsed an indicative three (3) year work program for PIFON.

PIFON Board of Directors elected at the Foundation Conference