Pacific Farmers Have Their Say: Disrupted Supply Chain Operations A Challenge

April 2020

Nishi Calls On Governments To Waive Taxes

Jenny Nishi says the logistics network is being tested IMAGE: Nishi Trading

The World Trade Organisation have highlighted the economic impact of the global pandemic COVID 19 will be bad – but the degree to which it will be bad remains uncertain and depends on how long borders will remain closed.

Jenny Nishi, the Project Manager of Nishi Trading in Tonga says the logistics network is being tested as supply chain operations are disrupted.

“While the demand for fresh produce remains consistent, airfreight has stopped and although shipping routes are still operating there will be delays.”

She said: “The coming months is going to be challenging for exports and it’s affecting our operations in production and logistics, infrastructure development and the value chain – it will affect sales and distribution channels.”

“The development of our new facilities have generally stopped because necessary parts for machinery are now taking a lot longer on cargo vessels instead of air freight.”

She said: “In addition to potential food shortages and employees not being able to work on the farm, we’re expecting difficulties getting inputs for farming and construction in the future.”

Nishi is calling on governments in the Pacific region to review the nature of these complexities.

“Waive taxes for businesses and PAYE during this period and allow for a deferral repayment of loans.”

“At this moment we’re pre-ordering in bulk while maintaining contact with the market. We’re also continuing with projects to improve income revenue and we’re holding our meetings and technical trainings online.”

She said: “More work however needs to be done, like putting the focus back on livelihoods and food security, strengthening our networks and outreach to successfully mitigate the threats of COVID 19 in the agriculture sector.”

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