Pacific Islands Rural Advisory Services (PIRAS) was formed in response to a demand by the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) to establish an Extension Network to champion leadership, policy and advocacy,and capacity building of extension services in the Pacific.
PIRAS was established initially in 2005 at the first ever Pacific Extension Summit convened by the Pacific Community (SPC) in the Kingdom of Tonga and later endorsed by the Pacific Heads of Agriculture Services (HOAFS) and the Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry (MOAF) in 2009.
In August 2015, with funding support from the EU through the Pacific Agriculture Policy Project (PAPP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS), PIRAS was revived and a governing body and priority areas established.
The vision of PIRAS is to promote “Extension Excellence for Prosperous and Resilient Communities” in the PICTs.
The mission of PIRAS is to strengthen capacity of RAS in the PICTs to support food security and sustainable livelihoods needs of the Pacific communities.
To support its vision and mission, the core values of PIRAS include:
Champion governance and leadership in RAS through program development and efficiency in service delivery.
Commit to regional and international cooperation to support advocacy and lobbying for more investment in RAS.
Promote excellence and professionalism in RAS through effective partnership, learning and networking.
Foster demand-driven information and knowledge exchange to support scaling of innovation in RAS.
Uphold equity by adding value and creating benefits for all members.
WHAT WE DO
The functions of PIRAS include:
We provide capacity building for AAS in the Pacific through capacity needs assessments, education and training, skills enhancement and information and knowledge sharing.
- Policy and Advocacy
We promote evidence-based best practices and policies for RAS through effective partnership mechanisms, networking, policy dialogues and advocacy.
- Partnership in AAS
PIRAS also recognises that there are other advisory services outside the government services and recognises the need to strengthen wider partnerships with the private sector and other service providers through dialogues, partnership platforms and joint activities.
We support ongoing inventory and promotion of information and knowledge in the Pacific through information and knowledge management and dissemination through knowledge management systems and social media.
PIRAS is governed by a board with 10 members, three seats from the Pacific Subregionals (Micronesia, Polynesia and Melanesia) and one each seat representative from Research Institutions, Farmers Organizations, Private Sector, Academia, Women in Agriculture, SPC and International Linkages.
The Land Resource Division (LRD) of the Pacific Community (SPC) serves as the Secretariat for PIRAS.
Our Governing Body
Ms Kinaai Kairo
Director, Agriculture and Livestock Division
Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development (MELAD)
Representing Micronesia Subregional
Mr Michael Ho'ota
Director, Department of Extension
Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock
Representing Melanesia Subregional
Mr William Wigmore
Director, Research and Extension Division
Ministry of Agriculture
Dr Sonny Lameta
Extension Lecture, University of South Pacific
- School Of Agriculture and Food Technology (USP-SAFT)
Mr Mulitalo Penaia Saena
Exporter representing Private Sector, Samoa
Dr Christine King
Representing International Linkages
Ms Maria Linibi
CEO, Women in Agriculture
Papua new Guinea
Representing Women in Agriculture
Representing Farmers of Organizations (vacant)
For more information on PIRAS, please contact PIRAS Secretariat:
Mr Gibson Susumu
Sustainable Agriculture Programme
Land Resources Division
The Pacific Community
Suva Regional Office
Land Resource Division
The Pacific Community (SPC)
3 Luke Street, Nabua
Private Mail Bag