The Narcotics Laboratory was officially opened yesterday afternoon by SROS CEO Taliafono David Hunter with the keynote address given by Prime Minsiter Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegoai. The $40,000 lab is a joint venture between SROS, the Attorney General’s office and the Ministry of Police and Prisons of in a bid to provide international quality testing for the people of Samoa. At present the lab is only equipped to test marijuana and SROS has two authorised analysts that can test the narcotic. Tuilaepa said this project is an example of what Samoa can do when its agencies come together and approach a problem with a ‘whole of government’ approach. “The Law and Justice sector agencies came together and identified a problem with our fight against narcotics,” he said. He said the project was implemented by a group that included the Police, Public Works, Health, SROS and led by the office of the Attorney General.

Phase two of SROS’s component for the ACIAR PARDI/2001/004 started in October 2013 immediately after the Phase one sensory evaluation whereby four new lines were selected from cycle eight to progress through to replanting.

The four new lines were re-planted together with Samoa 1, Samoa 2 and Maagigi tiapula to be used as benchmark for the evaluation. The same data for plant agronomic details were collected as in Phase 1. In May 2014 the plots of taro reached seven months maturity and the selected data plants were harvested, weighed and prepared for sensory evaluation. Taro corms were uniformly cut, cooked at its pre-determined cooking times and cooled before presented to the participants for evaluation.
The Honorable Prime Minister and members of the Organic Farming Advisory Committee, plus other project stakeholders were invited and participated as members of the panel of assessors.

In its effort to support sustainable growth of Samoa’s taro export market, SROS is currently involved in the project ACIAR PARDI/2011/004 – ‘Developing a clean seed system for the market-ready taro cultivars in Samoa’, funded by the Pacific Agribusiness for Development Initiative (PARDI).
SROS’s role in the project are as followed:
  • Conduct field trials on site using appropriate experimental design for sampling of corms for sensory and nutrient analysis
  • Screen new varieties for sensory and nutrient content and partial processing