The Pacific island country of Samoa plans to set up innovation incubators to encourage its citizens to build digital technologies for agriculture, its minister has said.

“We’re looking at setting up innovation incubators and training programmes that will foster and empower our people to start developing things, to start creating apps that will be applicable to this country”, Afamasaga Rico Tupa’i – Minister of Communications and Information Technology – told the Samoa Observer.

For instance, apps can be built to help farmers monitor their cattle, he said.

“The idea is that they will know where the cows have gone to. If you are a coconut farmer, it will help you know how many coconuts you will have. So it’s simple stuff like that which will help in the development plan of our villages and country”, he continued.

Samoa’s economy is largely based on agriculture and fishing, providing 50% of the GDP and making up two-thirds of its workforce.

“We also want to use the availability of technology to increase the employment of our people”, he said, by bringing in more call centres and submarine businesses.