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A new phase of the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) Programme was launched in Suva, Fiji last week.
Known as PHAMA Plus, the new phase of the Australian and New Zealand supported aid-for-trade programme builds on the foundation established by PHAMA in 2011.
PHAMA Plus is a multi-country programme with offices in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. With a targeted focus on maintaining and improving existing market access, the program is about improving economic growth and rural livelihoods for Pacific peoples.
Although the new phase commenced on 1 November 2018, it was officially launched last Thursday following thorough planning and discussion about commodity interventions for each of the six core countries. Under the new phase, the program will also provide technical export and market access support for small island states that have ratified the PACER Plus trade agreement.
Officiating at the launch, Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner to Fiji, Anna Dorney said, “PHAMA Plus will be country-led with the recognition that exporters, processors and farming households are the drivers of economic growth and export supply chains with discrete, multi-year, export-market oriented interventions. It will use a purposeful blend of market systems facilitation and direct engagement, to ensure local market relevance and responsiveness with an increased emphasis on export commodity quality and productivity to enhance Pacific supply chain reliability.”
Also present at the launch were representatives from other Pacific government ministries and agencies, private sector representatives from the region and representatives of partner agencies.
PHAMA Plus is an AUD$36million (US$25 million) investment spanning four years (2018 – 2022), with resources from New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Government.
PHAMA Plus has three end-of-program outcomes: producers and exporters use maintained and new export market access for Pacific export products; women and men exporters, processors and producers adopt quality and productivity enhancing innovations for their export products; and women and men staff of Pacific biosecurity authorities perform their market access facilitation functions better.
The foundation for PHAMA Plus is an innovative market systems development approach, which harnesses the capacity and motivation of the private sector to deliver sustainable export and market access solutions. PHAMA Plus is designed to leave a legacy of innovative, inclusive and resilient export market systems that better serve smallholder farming households, providing them with access to resources and opportunities they need to be more productive, sell more and earn more export income.
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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