FO4ACP Fiji Farmers Forum 2020: Seizing Opportunities
Nature’s Way Cooperative (NWC) are currently assisting farmers in the Sigatoka Valley as part of key plans recovery efforts following TC Harold IMAGE: Supplied
The combined effects of COVID-19 and TC Harold greatly affected Fiji’s fresh fruit and vegetable exports following the suspension of all international flights in March.
“It has been substantial on Nature’s Way Cooperative,” said Rachael Varea of Nature’s Way Cooperative (NWC). “The fresh fruit and vegetable sector received significant damage to farms in Sigatoka with total exports recorded at 1.751 Mt in April.”
“This is in comparison to 40.884 Mt for the same period in 2019.”
Rachael Varea was speaking at the recent FO4ACP Fiji Farmers Forum 2020:Seizing Opportunities at Nadi’s South Sea Orchids.
“Even though air cargo flights were allowed to resume towards March end, air freight to New Zealand is limited to 4 flights per week and its’ greatly affected the supply and demand of fresh produces into the New Zealand market.”
“Our total exports for the month of March recorded at 26.682 Mt.”
NWC are currently assisting farmers in the Sigatoka Valley as part of key plans recovery efforts following TC Harold.
“We were approached by the New Zealand government to assist affected farmers with crop rehabilitation in the Sigatoka Valley.”
“We have started assisting 250 farmers, these farmers are members of Nature’s Way Cooperative, as well as non-members.”
Racheal Varea said eggplant disorders is a current issue developing in transition to the New Zealand.
“These symptoms are not apparent immediately post harvesting or post treatment and only appear on the eggplant a few days after arriving into New Zealand.”
“Nature’s Way Cooperative is currently seeking the financial support of government and bilateral partners to fund research into disorders affecting BQA commodities.”
“This will ensure better quality of the fresh fruit and vegetable exports from Fiji.”
The Fiji Farmers Forum 2020 : Seizing Opportunities was organised by Tei Tei Taveuni and funded by the Farmers’ Organizations for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific – FO4ACP Programme, a joint partnership between the European Union, Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON).