World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


International markets for Pacific products with SPC help


11th OCTOBER 2012

International markets for Pacific products with SPC help

Breadfruit chips from Samoa, coffee from Papua New Guinea, crystallised ginger from Fiji, squash from Tonga, cassava flour from Vanuatu, pandanus juice from Marshall Islands and cocoa from Solomon Islands — these are just some of the wide range of products that Pacific Island farmers and entrepreneurs are supplying to export markets, with assistance from the European Union-funded Facilitating Agricultural Commodity Trade (FACT) pilot project, which began in May 2008.

Implemented by an eight-member team based at SPC in Nabua, Fiji and Honiara, Solomon Islands, the FACT project is led by Agri-Forestry Export Specialist and FACT Project Team Leader Dr Lex Thomson.

Another member of the FACT team is Apiame Cegumalua, Export Processing Officer in the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). She explains, ‘The FACT pilot project arose out of the desire of Pacific governments to increase trade in agricultural and forestry products. This was seen as a way to help reduce trade deficits, assist in poverty reduction in rural areas and curb urban drift.

‘The FACT team is passionate about the work we undertake in the region to support farmers, rural dwellers, and small commercial operators to become export-oriented and market-driven, able to supply overseas markets consistently with competitive agricultural and forestry products. Part of FACT support includes assistance with ensuring that the produce meets international market requirements and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), and has good quality packaging and label designs,’ she added.

‘The team has worked extensively at the community and industry level, holding training workshops for process operators and building capacity for farmers and small business entrepreneurs. They are trained in food business management skills and techniques, food processing and food safety, as well as in ways to add value to their produce. Part of the process is to encourage farmers to draw on their own creativity in finding ways to reduce post harvest losses and utilise their produce once it has been harvested,’ she said.

Successful workshops have led to rural women and men producing and selling their home-made banana chips at Kosrae Airport in the Federated States of Micronesia, manioc flour in Palau, cured fish in Pohnpei and tuna jerky in Marshall Islands.

On a larger scale, thanks to FACT assistance, farmers from Tonga export fruit and vegetables to New Zealand; spices and essential oils from Papua New Guinea are exported to Fiji, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom; and some of Fiji’s root crops, vegetables and ginger find their way to Australia, New Zealand, France and the United States of America.

‘In this way, the livelihoods of Pacific Islanders and small, private-sector exporters are being improved,’ said Ms Cegumalua.

Although the FACT pilot programme comes to an end later this year, its success can be measured by the fact that the European Union is funding a new trade project, also implemented by SPC. The Increasing Agriculture Commodity Trade (IACT) project is working with an initial 30 enterprises in 15 countries.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Binoy Kampmark: US Bomb Strikes Hospital In Kunduz

According to US military sources, “there may have been collateral damage” to the medical facility. “This incident is under investigation.” A statement issued by the office of the President Ashraf Ghani said that Army General John Campbell, chief of US-led forces in Afghanistan, apologised. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: The Fall Of Tony Abbott

The question was one of timing. The Coalition had been registering losses in poll after poll. The Abbott style hardly improved after a spill was forced on the party. Despite claiming that he would be ushering in a spring clean, he continued bypassing ministers and MPs... More>>



Pacific.Scoop: Smaller Pacific States Call For Coal Moratorium

PNG Loop: Leaders of the Pacific Smaller Island States have called on all nations – especially the advanced economies in the region – to rise to the challenge of climate change. They want to steer the world on a path where climate change is no longer a threat to earth. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news