In 2016, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), with co-funding from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and in partnership with the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO), launched the four-year project “Leveraging the Development of Local Food Crops and Fisheries Value Chains for Improved Nutrition and Sustainable Food Systems in the Pacific Islands with a focus on Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu” (working title: ‘Promoting Nutritious Food Systems in the Pacific Islands’) The overall goal of the project is to strengthen the capacity of the Pacific Island governments, farmer and private sector organisations, and sub-regional institutions to develop strategies and programmes, as well as mobilise financing, that can effectively enable poor rural people to increase their access to nutritious and healthy food.

The project is adopting a three-pronged approach (AAA): Analyse – Build the evidence base to guide strategic interventions; Act – Build capacity for change; and Advocate – lobby for policy change and development impact at scale. Strong engagement of representatives of the public and private sectors as well as producer organizations in partnering for agricultural innovation underpin local value chain and agribusiness development and improved nutrition outcomes. This approach is permeating the implementation of each cluster of the project’s activities on the ground.

The project utilizes existing opportunities for building on the indigenous knowledge of communities, integrating scientific and technical knowledge, promoting entrepreneurship and business development, and facilitating individual and organizational capacity development and policy and institutional reform as a win-win strategy. It also strives to improve the awareness of the potential of local foods, food products and fisheries for rural development and nutrition enhancement and supports informed policy dialogue for the development of public, private, producer partnerships.

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