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Livestock Systems

Improving small ruminant production and supply in Fiji and Samoa

Project Code: LS/2017/033
Budget:
A$1,850,004
Research Program Manager: Dr. Anna Okello
Project Leader: Frances Cowley - University of New England
Duration:
JUL 2019
2019
MAR 2023
Project Status: Legally Committed/Active
Key partners
Charles Sturt University
Fiji National University
Ministry of Agriculture
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
The University of the South Pacific

Overview

Small ruminants (sheep and goats, SR) are an entry point into livestock ownership, with potential as regular income producing enterprises for the rural poor in developing countries. Fiji and Samoa both have large demand for SR meat for domestic consumption and cultural uses, and large numbers of poor farmers for whom SR farming is an important livelihood strategy. Nevertheless, production and marketing systems for SR and their meat in Fiji and Samoa are performing below potential in terms of animal productivity and engagement with higher value market chains.

This project is based on from the SRA LPS/2016/021 Assessment of Markets and Production Constraints to Small Ruminant Farming in the Pacific, which aimed to understand current small ruminant (SR) production and marketing, the demand for SR meat, and to identify the current institutional support and research needed for developing profitable smallholder SR production in key Pacific Island Countries (PIC). The SRA found among the PIC, Fiji and Samoa have the strongest demand for sheep and goat meat, government support for the industry, growing sheep and goat populations and the potential for productive grazing livestock systems.

The retail market in particular represents a huge opportunity for smallholders and semi commercial farmers in both countries via import substitution. This opportunity, combined with strong government support and confidence of farm investors, suggests that both of these countries are likely to benefit from further development investment targeting the SR sector.