The project aimed to increase pig, poultry and goat production within the smallholder rural sector, thereby increasing the supply of livestock products, creating additional rural employment, increasing farm family incomes and reducing dependence on imported livestock products.


  • Establishment of a pig multiplication centre to breed pigs for distribution to smallholders.
  • Expansion of the existing poultry multiplication centre at Alafua to supply chickens to village egg-production units, which were to be established under the Government's Rural Development Project.
  • Importation and distribution of goats for breeding and fattening on smallholder farms.
    Establishment of livestock marketing facilities.
  • Strengthening of government livestock-support facilities

In November 1989 the project was reviewed and reformulated. As a consequence, the goat component was abandoned, and new activities were included. Small-scale cattle-fattening units were to be introduced, together with smaller pig and poultry units, involving smaller loans that were more appropriate to IFAD's target group.


Although the project succeeded in providing all the facilities that it set out to make available, these facilities were found to be incompatible with the changing environment and the existing cultural norms in Samoa. As a result, project sustainability was deeply compromised.

Access to inputs and infrastructure



To increase the production capacity of the government-owned feed mill (Samoa Feed Limited) by the provision of two silos, grain dryers and automatic weighing and mixing equipment.

To establish two market centres at Upolo and Savai'i to facilitate the marketing of goats and pigs.

To provide a clinic and laboratory.


All equipment was provided and installed by the third year of the project, with the exception of one silo, which was imported but never installed.

The two market centres were established and were used a few times for pig auctions. However, they soon closed due to a lack of pigs and of buyers.

A clinic was established on Savai'i. However, the facilities were eventually unused, due to difficulties in attracting veterinary officers because of the lack of staff incentives.

Organizations and people

Prior to the project, responsibility for the delivery of livestock and animal health services was with the Livestock Division of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), which was characterized by shortages of technical and field extension staff.



To recruit project management staff drawn from the Livestock Division of DAFF and to provide technical assistance and support.

To provide training to project staff and project farmers.

To provide transport facilities.


A project manager and a project administrator were appointed in 1984, but only four of the seven field assistant posts had been filled by 1987. The project was dogged throughout by recruitment problems, attributed to government recruitment freezes due to budgetary constraints. International volunteers assisted with management and agricultural extension, and an expatriate project advisor was hired for two years and managed effectively to train the project manager who took over from him.

Training was provided to project staff.

Eight vehicles and seven motorcycles were provided. After reformulation, four replacement vehicles were provided for DAFF, one for the rural women's unit and two vehicles and four motorcycles for the Development Bank of Western Samoa (DBWS).

Herd improvement

Pigs, poultry and, more recently, cattle constitute an important part of the traditional rural social system. However, at project appraisal, a number of barriers to the development of the livestock subsector were identified, including poor husbandry, the availability of cheap import substitutes, shortages of breeding stock and the inadequate development of cash markets, resulting in farmer reluctance to invest in improvements in productivity.



To construct and renovate multiplication centres to breed pigs and poultry for distribution among smallholder farmers.

To support the establishment by smallholders of 155 pig breeding units (changed to 30 modified units after reformulation) and of 60 poultry breeding units, each with 200-500 pellets (reduced to 50 laying birds per unit after reformulation).

To import and distribute goats for breeding and fattening and establish 108 goat units.

To establish cattle-fattening units, each consisting of six weaner steers. (This activity was initiated only after reformulation.)

To make credit facilities administered by the DBWS available to project farmers for pig and goat units and also for 15 poultry units after reformulation.


The construction and renovation of pig and poultry multiplication centres was achieved.

The project imported improved breeds of pigs (Large White, Durac Cross, Local Cross, Land Cross and Hampshire), but established only 46 breeding units before reformulation. Afterwards, 27 modified pig units were also established. Fifteen poultry units were added to the 24 that had already been created under the Rural Development Project, and three more modified units were set up after reformulation.

The imported goats numbered 372, including feral goats from New Zealand and commercially reared goats from Fiji. By 1987, 60 goat units had been established. However, there was little market for goat meat, and a social stigma was attached to farmers who reared goats.

Thirty-five cattle-fattening units were established. This component was relatively popular, since cattle ownership is regarded as a basis of power and prestige in Samoa. However, its sustainability was threatened by the failure of the Western Samoa Trust Estates Corporation to continue to supply the steers, due to organizational problems.

The DBWS approved a total of 270 loans during the project period. However, 80% of these loans were in arrears by April 1992, largely due to the high transaction costs for small loans and the lack of economic and financial analysis of the investment policy.

Lessons learned

  • Over-reliance on the public sector can cause problems of unreliability and inefficiency and staff, resource and skills shortages. As an alternative, private-sector involvement should be encouraged.
  • The mere provision of physical facilities does not necessarily guarantee project success.
  • Since marketing is an essential part of any livestock production enterprise, market surveys should be conducted before livestock projects are designed and implemented.
  • The cultural beliefs, norms and practices of project beneficiaries have an important effect on project implementation and should be taken into account before project formulation.
  • For any project to be sustainable, the adequate availability of inputs at reasonable prices must be guaranteed prior to and during project implementation. Project design should therefore take into account issues such as possible changes in government policy.

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