27 Jan 2006

Samoa to open research institute for agricultural products

9:29 am on 27 January 2006

The ministry of agriculture in Samoa hopes to establish the Samoa Research and Development Institute to carry out research on the potential of local agricultural products.

The minister of natural resources Tuisugaletaua Aveau Sofara told parliament that the institute would be housed at the Nafanua crop station while a permanent site is constructed near the national University of Samoa.

Roughly US$210,000 was allocated in the 2005-2006 budget for the project.

The minister told parliament that the institute would open up endless opportunities for local business people and their products.

It will also provide jobs for people with scientific skills.

The minister said Samoa was losing young people with such backgrounds to overseas countries because there weren't enough opportunities for them at home.

The institute will carry out applied science research.

One possibility that the minister referred to is research on how to turn the scent of pua, or plumeria, into a marketable product to be exported overseas.