DBS undertakes government’s agricultural competitiveness program

The Development Bank of Samoa (DBS) together with Small Enterprise Centre (SBEC) have been the lead agencies in the implementation of the Samoa Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Project (SACEP), a development partnership initiative between the Government of Samoa and the World Bank (WB).
The development objective of the SACEP is to support fruit and vegetable growers and livestock producers to improve their productivity and take greater advantage of market opportunities. There are three components to the project. The first component of the project is livestock production and marketing. The objective of this component will be to encourage interested livestock producers to upgrade livestock, improve husbandry practices and stock management, make productivity enhancing on-farm investments, and improve the quality of meat sold in the local market. The second component of the project is fruit and vegetable production and marketing. The objective of this component will be to enable interested fruit and vegetable growers to have access to new, higher yielding varieties, adopt improved technology and production techniques, make productivity enhancing on-farm investments, and organize themselves to strengthen their presence in the market and meet the demands of local retailers and foodservice operators for year-round supplies of fresh fruits and vegetables. The third component of the project is institutional strengthening. The objective of this component will be to improve the effectiveness of agricultural institutions (government and non-government) providing extension and adaptive research services to Samoan farmers; and the ability of these same institutions working individually or in collaboration with each other to implement and monitor the project effectively.
For its part, DBS is committed to provide credit financing to fund the 30% contribution of farmers who are unable to afford it to meet their 50% contribution. The commitment includes a reduced interest rate of 8%, a grace period of 6 to 12 months and term limit of 4 years. Since implementation, DBS has prioritized lending to SACEP to enable immediate response to farmers needs.
As of December 2014, 110 loan applications have been approved and disbursed valued at USD 831,174. Approval is allocated at 85% livestock and 15% fruit and vegetables. The project has generated huge interest from the farmers and will continue over 5 years. The success of the farmers will trickle down to their partners and supports local economic development.

SACEP: A Development Partnership was a recipient of a Merit Award in the 2015 ADFIAP Outstanding Development Project Awards under the Local Economic Development category.

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