Filipe Filihia Leads Tonga's Smart Farm Acre Initiative

Filipe Filihia Leads Tonga’s Smart Farm Acre Initiative

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The Smart Farm Acre Initiative is funded by the FO4ACP Programme IMAGE: Growers Federation of Tonga

Wednesday 16

Filipe Filihia has come a long way.

Farmer-to-farmer technical exchanges in breadfruit and papaya by the Medium Term Cooperation Project – Phase 2 (MTCP2) opened his mind to the full potential of farming and he hasn’t looked back.

“I first learnt how to grow papaya for export, and how to propagate breadfruit seedlings and prune breadfruit to picking height.”

The technical exchange also meant that Filipe Filihia could extend his knowledge on farming practices that have changed for the better.

“You learn a lot of things about farming and planting according to the season – here in Tonga, taro should be planted in November so that it gets plenty of water before the dry season sets in – this is the kind of knowledge that can help farmers farm better.”

A view of Filipe Filihia’s Smart Farm Acre in Tongatapu, Tonga IMAGE: Growers Federation of Tonga

Farming has also improved the quality of life for Filipe Filihia and his family IMAGE: Growers Federation of Tonga

Over the years, Filipe Filihia has combined sustainable agricultural practices including intercropping which has seen the inclusion of breadfruit, kumala, taro, kava, sandalwood and pineapple on his farm.

“It’s providing additional income for my family and meeting obligations at the church.”

His work has earned him a solid reputation amongst farmers and farmer organisations including Growers Federation of Tonga, who are working together on the Smart Farm Acre Initiative.

“I help train farmers and it’s very satisfying seeing others benefit as a result of this knowledge, it’s a very effective way of transferring skills and knowledge.”

The Smart Farm Acre Initiative is funded by the Farmers’ Organizations for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (FO4ACP) Programme, a joint partnership between the European Union, Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON).

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