Official Opening Ceremony

DATE: 7 May 2018, 08:30 – 12:30 am

VENUE: Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva, Fiji



The Regional Forum takes place within the framework of the CTA/IFAD/PIPSO Project ‘Promoting Nutritious Food Systems in the Pacific Islands’.  About 100 key stakeholders; senior officials and experts from the public and private sector including producer, women and community based organisations from Pacific Island States, Africa, Asia, and Europe will come together to share the results and recommendations from multi-country studies and consultations on: the agriculture/nutrition nexus; agricultural insurance and weather risk management; agricultural and value chain finance and agri-business development; novel ICTs and priority nutrition sensitive value chains.


This cross-learning event seeks to craft the way forward for collective national and regional action that can lead to the further development and upgrading of Pacific local food crops and fisheries value chains for improved food and nutrition outcomes, livelihoods and income and sustainable natural resource management. The official Opening Ceremony will set the stage for defining drivers of success.


Key Note Speaker

Hon Viam Pillay, Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, Fiji – Enabling Innovation in Pacific Agri-Value Chains – Drivers of Success

Hon. Viam Pillay is a member of the Fiji First Government, Member of Parliament and Chair of the Standing Committee on Social Affairs. Hon Pillay took his seat in Parliament on October after the September, 2014, General Elections.

His passion for public service and vision for a Better Fiji are shaped by his experiences and influences. He is driven by the desire to have a positive influence within the community and Fiji as a whole. He has served in various board level as appointed by the Hon Prime Minister and has participated in the Prime Minister’s Summit on the Green Growth Framework, the National Address on Fiji’s Strategic Framework for Change.

Propelled by hope and hard work, Hon. Viam Pillay focused his role within his community on building teams and  plan to create growth that works for the farmers and villages, and the fair economic opportunity for everyone; on respect for and promotion of freedom and diversity; and on a more democratic government that represents all of Fiji.


Official Opening Ceremony Programme
08:30 – 09:00 Registration

Welcome coffee/tea

09:00 – 10:30 Welcome and Garlanding Official Guests

Chairperson: Simon Cole – Chair, Fiji Crop and Livestock Council, Fiji


Michael Hailu, Director,  ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), The Netherlands

Sakiusa Tubuna, Regional Coordinator, International Fund for Agricultural Development, Fiji

Opening Remarks – Christoph Wagner, Head of Cooperation,  European Union Delegation for the Pacific, Fiji
Keynote Address –   Enabling Innovation in Pacific Agri-Value Chains – Drivers of Success –  Hon Viam Pillay, Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, Fiji
10:30 – 11:00 Group photo

Coffee/Tea Break

11:00 – 12:00 Chairperson: Michael Hailu, Director, CTA, The Netherlands

Drivers of Success for Value Chain and Agribusiness Development


Farmers as Drivers of Agricultural Insurance: Experience from East Africa – Stephen Muchiri, Chief Executive Officer, East Africa Farmers’ Federation, Kenya




Young Entrepreneurs Shaping the Pacific Region’s Sustainable Future – Litia Kirwin, Founding Director Loving Islands, Forbes Asia 30 under 30 Class of 2018, Fiji




MAgri – Connecting the Unconnected: Increasing Access to Information – Thapelo Borekilwe, MAgri, Brastorne, Director of Public Relations & Legal, Botswana



12:00 – 12:50 Chairperson: Michael Hailu, Director, CTA, The Netherlands

High-level Panel Discussion

Critical Success Factors — Financing Agriculture, Value Chain and Agri-Business Development in Pacific Island States

·         Susana Laulu, General Manager, Development Bank of Samoa, Samoa

·         John Aruhuri, Executive General Manager Microfinance, Rural Banking and Financial Inclusion, National Bank of Vanuatu, Vanuatu

·         Luapene Lefau, Finance & Administration Manager, South Pacific Business Development, Samoa

12:50 – 13:00 Closing Remarks & Vote of Thanks – Howard Politini, Chair,  Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation, Fiji



Download the PDF version of the Opening Ceremony Programme here