During an event such as a conference, quite a significant amount of resources, whether human or financial, are invested in the activities linked to it. But do we question ourselves where these resources are coming from or we just pack our bags and go?
It was the final day of the Pacific Community AgriTourism Week in Nadi, Fiji – a 5-days’ event attended by over 100 participants from the Pacific, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. From Pacific Islands’ ministers and their representatives, to farmers and chefs, the private sector, students, the media and social media people – all stakeholders involved were brought together by an array of partners to this first ever AgriTourism Week in the Pacific.
For my case, I was subscribed to some mailing lists and regularly visited some websites. That’s how I got to know about the event and its social reporting team. I filled out the application form and was pleasantly surprised when I received an email informing that I’ve been selected to cover the AgriTourism week in Fiji. Upon my selection, interaction with the team started online and some weeks later, I found myself travelling from Vanuatu to Fiji.
Days before the event, I met with the social media team of young people like me from different Pacific Islands. We participated in a two-days training which groomed us with the latest ICT tools for reporting on the event. My team’s trainer is a prominent ICT guru from the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), all the way from the Netherlands. I can’t be more thankful for the totally new insight of ICT and the invaluable amount of things I learnt from all the hands-on experience. For such an amazing experience, I said to myself that I have to find out who is (or are) really behind this event and its array of activities. So, I went an extra mile to do some investigations.
I spoke to the Vanuatu’s Ambassador to EU in Brussels and Chair to the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP), Roy Mickey Joy. I also interviewed Mr Samson Vivil Fare, also a Vanuatu citizen who is coordinating the Intra-ACP project at CTA. If you want to know what Intra-ACP has to do with the Pacific, then you must also know about the Intra-ACP Agriculture Policy Programme (Intra-APP). But then you can’t leave out the Pacific Agriculture Policy Project (PAPP).
Yes, these are a lot of acronyms and project names, but in simple words, PAPP falls under the Intra-APP, which is funded by the European Union (EU). Organisations such as CTA, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) are the implementing partners of the Intra-APP.
Connecting the dots
After the interviews and long conversations, I finally got to understand that a major part of the Pacific Community AgriTourism Week was funded by the PAPP, which originates from the 10th European Development Fund (EDF 10th). However, other specific activities such as the Agribusiness Forum and social reporting were partly funded by CTA. This leads us to understand that there have been many partners involved in the organisation and success of the Pacific Community AgriTourism Week. These are the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the South Pacific Tourism Organization (SPTO), the University of the South Pacific (USP), the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the Intra-ACP Agricultural Policy Programme (Intra-APP), the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) and other national agencies from Fiji.
I am sure that like me, many other Pacific islanders and participants of the event are very thankful to the organisers of the Pacific Community AgriTourism Week. Even though we are just some dots scattered in a vast ocean, the interest and assistance shown by the funding organisations is proof that we are still visible and considered important in this part of the world!
Blogpost by Lopez Marac Adams, Social Reporter for the Pacific Community AgriTourism Week 2015.