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News

Women Cocoa Growers in Eastern Samar

Women represent 40 % out of 1000 cocoa growers being supported through Eastern Samar Cacao Livelihood Programme in the Philippines led by SPS Biota and funded by NZ Aid Programme. This video was prepared by our in-country partner People in Need, a Czech Republic based NGO.  SPS Biota invites you...

Samoan Women's Farming Calendar

Although women play a crucial role in cocoa production & primary processing, they have little influence in the industry, and their contributions have yet not been well-acknowledged.  In Samoa, SPS Biota has supported a women calendar through the Samoa Cocoa Export Industry Project Phase II, funded by NZ Aid Programme....

FBS Training Day

As part of the Forest Biosecurity Surveillance (FBS) program, SPS Biota staff regularly refresh their skills by participating in specialized training days. This Training Day took place on the 14th April 2021. Photos Taken by Geoff Carlaw, Biosecurity Advisor

Tree identification and Dutch elm disease detection using UAVs

SPS Biota have collaborated with ENVICO Technologies to use drones to enhance traditional field surveys for diseased elm trees. We have recognized the potential for drones to assist in the surveillance of large parcels of land, places with difficult access or areas that contain hazards for field staff.  The pilot...

Unwanted Pest Trapping in New Zealand Forests

SPS is carrying out a surveillance trapping trial for unwanted, new to New Zealand pest beetles and wood wasps. Flight traps with attractants have been placed in plantation forests close to urban areas in Auckland, Rotorua and Christchurch. Insects collected from the traps are identified using diagnostic characters for species known to be present in New...

Turning Over a New Leaf

We were finishing dinner with my family on Christmas Eve in our little Guiuan town on the Pacific coast when we learned that the forecasted tropical storm, which would be making landfall anytime soon, had evolved into a powerful typhoon. I knew that the house we were renting had resisted...

Planting Seeds of Hope

Being visionary in Eastern Samar is like going against the tides and monsoons in the Pacific. It was back in 2015, when I first met Luis Bayarong, the president of FEA Agrarian Reform Cooperative, in the small sleepy town of Guiuan. The town made into all major world headlines in...

Savai’i Cocoa Farmers Reclaim Back Their Lost Fame

“Bring the beans over here,” Leah says to a farmer, who came along with his two sons from Vaisala village. “70 kg of wet beans,” Leah records in her notebook and hands 140 tala over to the farmer. “This is twice higher volume what this farmer was usually bringing three...