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Providing Services To Members & Partners

At the Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network, our focus is on providing the services that our members need most, so that they can perform better as farmer organisations. In addition, we ensure the sustainability of our secretariat by providing a range of compatible services to donors and development partners.

Our Focus

The Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network has developed six focus areas for its work. Over the years, these six areas have organically grown from the work undertaken by our members. While prioritizing these six areas, the Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network will continue to work in whatever areas serve the needs of our members.

Breadfruit & Seeds

The Pacific Breadfruit and Seeds Program was the first focus area to be chosen by the Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network. The program aims to develop breadfruit, an important indigenous food source, as an orchard crop across the Pacific region, while the seeds component encourages members to grow local, nutrient-rich, open pollinated plant varieties and relearn the practice of saving their own seeds for future planting.

The breadfruit component of the program took at least three years and various studies and technical collaborations to establish. It builds upon the successful work done in Fiji under the earlier Pacific Breadfruit program initiative, while up scaling the research and results to the regional level.

The seeds component of the program follows the 2014 Scoping Study on Seeds that was undertaken by the Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network. This report provided the background to address seed supply access issues amongst the Network’s members. Members are encouraged to select seeds from the best performing plants on their farms to improve future yields and the nutritional value of crops.

We believe that it is important to not only talk about climate change, but to start taking active measures to address it if Pacific farms and Pacific communities are going to remain viable. The Pacific Breadfruit and Seeds Program is one of our members’ responses to mitigate against climate change.

Women in Agriculture & Nutrition

The Women in Agriculture and Nutrition program is an opportunity for the Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network to focus on gender. Gender is often not considered by farmers or farmer organisations and this program aims to highlight the role of women in agriculture, while providing opportunities to bring women farmers together to share experiences, network and strengthen technical linkages.

By connecting with the Papua New Guinea Women in Agriculture Development Foundation (PNG WiADF) and Australian Women in Agriculture (AWiA), the Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network will provide learning exchanges that recognize and support the role of women in agriculture. As a focus area of our network, we will develop and support activities that recognize, appreciate and motivate women to continue to do their work in their farms and communities.

In addition, it is intended to highlight the importance of good nutrition and link to the seeds program for open-pollinated seeds. In this way we will encourage our women famers to grow local, nutritious food to feed their families, providing for a safer and healthier future.

Policy Engagement & Partnership Development

Policy advocacy is relatively new to Pacific farmer organisations. This program aims to allow our farmer organisations to share experiences, improve their knowledge, and understand the concepts of policy engagement and advocacy, and their operation at the national and regional levels.

At its most basic, this is about identifying priority policy issues affecting smallholder farmers in the region and the means for addressing these issues, with farmer organisations as a driving force. In the broader context, it is about enabling the right environment to ensure a dignified life for farming families, and to better meet consumers’ needs more appropriately and more effectively, thereby helping to avoid possible future food crises.

In addition, this program also encourages farmer organisations to grow and develop partnerships with existing and new partners. It supports learning opportunities that develop skills for farmer organisations to better forge new relationships, as well as building and maintaining existing relationships. In this way, farmer organisations can strengthen their capacity to implement programmes through their relationships with development partners, other farmer organisations and their farmer members. They can also utilise the strength of the Pacific Farmer Organisations Network to maximize their membership reach.

Sustainable Agriculture

Farmers and farmer organisations are recognizing that they have to take ownership of agricultural developments and foster greater understanding of the value of good farming practices. We believe that our members should be leading the Pacific in sustainable agricultural practices, through their farmer related research and innovations, whilst continuing to learn from each other through their farmer to farmer learning exchanges.

Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network members are actively working to achieve sustainable practices through good soil health initiatives, seed saving practices, traditional and organic farming techniques and by farming to mitigate changing climatic conditions.

Youth In Agriculture

Making farming cool!

Youth are the future. This programme is designed to attract youth to farming as a preferred livelihood and to equip them with the knowledge and support networks they need to be successful.

For many Pacific youth, farming is only seen as an option when nothing else is available, leading to increased urban drift as youth move away from rural areas seeking jobs in the cities and towns. The Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network aims to change this attitude and strengthen rural communities by making agriculture more attractive to youth and encouraging them to study the various areas of agriculture to deepen their interest and appreciation of the income generating potential of the sector.

Organisational Capacity Building

The Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network’s core function is to build the capacity of our members to become sustainable farmer organisations serving their members. This was the original intention in forming a network - to motivate, encourage and teach each other better ways of doing things. As individual farmer organisations and the network as a whole continues to grow, this focus has become a core part of our culture.

Through our signature farmer-to-farmer learning exchanges, we will continue to promote practical farming, by learning from those that have already done it and achieved success. Wherever possible, we look within our own network for relevant Pacific experts and examples that the rest of us can learn from. However, we also look outside our network to utilize the best expertise, wherever it may be found.

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