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Vanuatu is expecting up to 200 delegates once the country hosts the inaugural Pacific Week of Agriculture (PWA) from 16 to 20 October 2017.
The figure has been revealed by organizers in Port Vila who are optimistic PWA, which will combine for the first time, two key regional agriculture meetings - the Heads of Agriculture and Forestry Services meeting organized by the Pacific Community or SPC, and the Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry Meeting organized by SPC and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations or FAO. It is anticipated that PWA will live up to its billing as the premiere agriculture and agritourism forum for the region.
Plans are well underway to host PWA at the Vanuatu National Convention Centre in the Vanuatu Capital, Port Vila.
Vanuatu will host for the first time in the Pacific Region, the FAO Deputy Director General, Maria Helena Samedo who will represent the Rome based organization at PWA. In attendance at PWA will also be Pacific Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry, regional and international stakeholders from across the Pacific, Europe and the world at large, expected to converge in Port Vila for the first time for the one-week event.
All 26 members of the SPC, which include metropolitan countries and members of SPC: Australia, New Zealand, France and the US are sending in participants.
Invitations have been dispatched and responses so far have been highly positive, said PWA Coordinator in Port Vila, Howard Aru.
It follows the launching the official logo and branding of the inaugural PWA event on 23 August 2017 by the Vanuatu Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Matai Seremaiah Nawalu who expressed satisfaction with preparations so far.
"Preparations on the ground have been very good. I want to thank Aru and the PWA Team for their coordination efforts. Vanuatu is looking forward to hosting the event. The support from everyone - SPC, FAO, CTA (Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation) and all regional partners have been excellent. We are truly honoured and look forward to seeing you all," said Seremaiah.
PWA will begin with a two-day agritourism festival for movers and shakers of agritourism, keen to showcase their products and establish vital connections for future trade in agriculture products, business and tourism.
The agenda for the meeting is just about set and agreed. PWA is expected to conclude with the endorsement of a communiqué on Friday 20th of September by the Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry-which will map out the way forward for agriculture and agritourism in the region.