Community Land & Sea Newsroom Uncategorised

Celebrating Women Excellence in Agriculture: Faalagilagisina Amosa Tapuaī

Women continue to play a leading role in driving innovative change in our sector and achieving food and nutrition security in Samoa. This week the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in partnership with the Samoa Country Magazine proudly celebrates Women’s International Day 2022 by recognizing women excellence in the Sector and their invaluable contribution to our sustainable and food security goals.

Qualified veterinary specialists play an important role in the treatment of domesticated and agricultural animals. They also ensure bio-security at the border by preventing exotic animal diseases from entering Samoa and help drive production of animals for food and nutrition security.

With the on-going shortage of vet specialists in Samoa impacting the ability to provide these critical services, the Government of Samoa through the World Bank and IFAD funded SAFPROM Project is addressing this skills shortage by awarding two university scholarships for eligible students to study in the 6 year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program at the University of the Phillipines Los Banos (UPLB), College of Veterinary Medicine.

27 year old Faalagilagisina (Sina) Amosa Tapuaī from the villages of Faleula and Lufilufi was awarded one of the scholarships and started the program in September 2021. Sina is a trained Paravet and has been working in the Ministry’s Animal Production and Health Division (APHD) since 2020 after graduating with a Bachelor of Agriculture from the University of South Pacific in 2019.

“I love treating any kind of animal diseases and experiencing different cases of animal health not only in the livestock farms of the government but also in rural community and some urban areas too.”

“Working in this kind of environment has made me even more passionate about my career and I really encourage young women, especially the young girls of Samoa to consider studying in the broad field of agriculture. It’s exciting to see that more women are taking on more leadership roles in agriculture and this much needed diversity will only strengthen the sector.”

Ever since she can remember, Sina has always loved animals and as a little girl she demonstrated a unique sensitivity to the needs of animals by caring for stray kittens and puppies. She went on to study Science majoring in biology and chemistry in the Foundation Program at the National University of Samoa in 2014 with the intention of becoming a medical student. It took an unfortunate event at their family farm in 2017 to inspire Sina into pursuing a different path in the field of Agriculture.

“I’ve always loved keeping kittens and puppies as pets at home. I treat them as if they are like my own siblings. In August 2017 something happened in my family’s cattle farm in Savaii and my grandmother rang up my father to ask whether he knew anyone who could help her two calves which were seriously wounded” said Sina. “It took 4 days of searching for an expert. Unfortunately no help could be found and the two calves died. That inspired me to go into the field of agriculture because I do not want to repeat the same sad story in my family or to any family in Samoa.”

Sina has set her sights on achieving some long term goals and she looks forward to sharing her knowledge with farmers especially in the treatment of animal diseases.

It is indeed an awesome opportunity for me to receive this scholarship” Sina says, “I feel proud and privileged to be selected for the opportunity to study a qualification that is highly needed in Samoa.”

“In the future, I see myself assisting animal farmers by teaching basic skills in caring for baby animals and their environment as well as treating and preventing animal diseases. Ultimately these interventions will help boost their livestock production, enhance their business and the livelihoods of their families.”

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