Sunvoice

EDITORIAL: Tanoa Going The Green Growth Way

There’s been a litany of excuses to explain the high import bill by hotels for food and vegetables. Lack of quality and inconsistent supply are two of the main reasons.
24 Jun 2015 08:01
EDITORIAL: Tanoa Going The Green Growth Way
Writer says initiatives by Lautoka’s Tanoa Waterfront Hotel ‘Home Grown’ scheme should be applauded.

There’s been a litany of excuses to explain the high import bill by hotels for food and vegetables. Lack of quality and inconsistent supply are two of the main reasons. In the Western Division, the lack of water for farms is also another factor.

That’s why the initiative by Lautoka’s Tanoa Waterfront Hotel ‘Home Grown’ scheme should be applauded. The fruits and vegetables from their gardens head straight for their kitchens and served to guests as a fresh and healthy option for their breakfast. According to the hotel’s management, the scheme has huge benefits to the hotel with reduced expenses on foodstuffs and maximising the use of land around the hotel.

This is consistent with the Government’s import-substitution programme and the over arching Green Growth Framework and the emphasis on sustainability. Other hotels on the Coral Coast and in Savusavu have taken up the challenge to grow their own food and work closely with the surrounding farming communities.

What is needed is momentum, a lot of it. Many farming communities, sometimes to the anguish of Government authorities continue to prefer subsistence agricultural methods when larger-scale commercial farming could be a feasible option. More awareness is needed and success stories of ‘rural millionaires’ need to be shared widely. There are still an elite few who have taken up the challenges, despite their lack of education and resources and generated more wealth per annum than a high-flying corporate executive based in Suva.

Farming on this scale is not for the faint-hearted. It’s hard work, toiling in the harsh sun and rain and even facing the unpredictable elements like cyclones and floods. You also need to work smart, for example, generating a high yield of pineapples (averaging two kilogrammes) per square hectare. Then there’s the marketing aspect, ensuring it gets to the buyer while it is still fresh.

As we mentioned there are farmers who have taken on the challenge and continue to reap the benefits. Producers like Joe’s Farm, with their more sophisticated hydroponics farms, dominate that niche in the market, but farmers shouldn’t be daunted by other producers in the market.

Besides, with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such a big issue now and the Government and other stakeholders keen to address it, following the Tanoa Waterfront’s lead might not sound like a bad idea after all.

Feedback: josuat@fijisun.com.fj



5SQRS Clearance


Fijisun E-edition
Advertise with fijisun
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper