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Nuku’alofa, Tonga – Plans to boost agricultural production in Tonga and increase income earning opportunities for more than 1500 growers have been unveiled.
The Grower’s Federation of Tonga’s 5-year business strategy also looks at improved livelihood for women and youth.
CEO Sinai Tui’tahi said the strategic business plan is a product of consultation between the Federation and its major stakeholders.
The needs of growers in primary crop production, value added products, infrastructure and inputs dominated consultations across three of the farmer organization’s forums in 2020 including its national survey, farmers forum and AGM.
The document includes proposals to increase export volume of grower’s produces, seek new market access and provide market and production information to growers to increase income earning opportunities.
While unveiling the strategic business plan, Sinai Tui’tahi said strengthening current export volume meant existing work in extension services on farm production could not be taken for granted.
GroFed also wants to move into import substitution activities and increase commercial production to help improve the livelihood of women and youth.
Sinai Tui’tahi told Pifon : “Grofed’s Plan is closely and strategically aligned to the Tonga Agricultural Sector Plan which in turn is in line and also aligned with the national Tonga Strategic Development Framework II.”
“Our immediate priority is addressing our financial sustainability and import substitution activities which starts with strengthening, protecting and building our current exports.”
She added the strategic plan will also see Growers Federation of Tonga act as an advocate for export growers and as a negotiator on behalf of growers interests.
The activities are funded by the Farmers’ Organizations for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (FO4ACP) Programme, a joint partnership between the European Union International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON).