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Fiji Dalo Quality Manual Launched

The way forward to improving the qual­ity and exports of Fijian taro is now clearer with the availability of a new Fiji Dalo Quality Manual. It was launched last week
26 Sep 2018 11:50
Fiji Dalo Quality Manual Launched
From left: Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) Deputy Team Leader Brownie Wiseman with Permanent Secretary for Agriculture David Kolitagane during the launch of the Dalo Manual. Photo: DEPTFO News

The way forward to improving the qual­ity and exports of Fijian taro is now clearer with the availability of a new Fiji Dalo Quality Manual.

It was launched last week at Navatukia Vil­lage in Serea, Naitasiri as part of a workshop organised by the Ministry of Agriculture for taro growers and exporters.

The manual has been developed by the Min­istry of Agriculture, in collaboration with taro industry stakeholders including grow­ers and traders, and the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) Programme, an Australian Government ini­tiative co-funded by the New Zealand Govern­ment.The workshop and launch of the Taro Quality Manual was held in the interior of Naitasiri in recognition of the hardworking farmers and communities producing taro in the area for local and exports markets.

With approximately 37,000 taro farms around the country, Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, David Kolitagane while launch­ing the manual, highlighted to dalo farm­ers the importance of the Fiji Dalo Quality Manual in assisting the majority of the taro farms around the country.

“Agriculture has played a pivotal role in our national building, our growth, and economic stability.

“We are talking about food security, from farmers to commercial productions onward to export markets.

“In Fiji, dalo is the largest agricultural ex­port apart from sugar and the annual dalo export volumes for these past years has been around 7,000 tonnes.

“I think we can double this in the next five years and the dalo quality manual is avail­able to help us achieve these targets.

“This manual stands as a proof of our com­mitment in helping our dalo stakeholders and farmers, both subsistence and commer­cial, to achieve higher targets and improve our production levels,” he said.

“It has discarded a whole range of issues and related challenges and supported pro­grams to build and strengthen our dalo in­dustry and I encourage you to actively par­ticipate in the training and in the sharing of knowledge of our manual.”

Fiji exports

Fiji exports 60 per cent of its dalo to New Zealand, Australia and the United States of America raking in a value of around FJ$20-$24 million.

“The Fijian Government has taken strides in trying to modernise the agriculture sector, to help expand our dalo export and produc­tion domestically and for our export markets.

“We are providing support equivalent to $3 to $4million annually for our dalo farmers; please make sure we utilise this resource ef­ficiently and effectively.

“We will ensure through our extension services that this funding will help our dalo farmers,” added Mr Kolitagane.

Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Mar­ket Access (PHAMA) Deputy Team Leader Brownie Wiseman said the program is look­ing forward to supporting and developing the dalo industry.

“The PHAMA programme has been here in Fiji working to grow the dalo industry and the agriculture sector and other exports and it’s a very satisfying time to be here today af­ter all these years with this new manual look­ing ahead at areas to grow the dalo industry,” Dr. Wiseman said.

Farmers from across the main taro produc­ing areas of Kadavu, Gau, Koro, the interior of Ra, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and the interior of Tailevu and Naitasiri attended the work­shop and the launch of Fiji Dalo Quality Manual.

The dalo farmers also raised issues they faced during an informal discussion session held following the launch with officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and attending stakeholders such as dalo exporters, Bios­ecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF), the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Fiji Crop and Livestock Council (FCLC).

The development of the taro manual follows the successful production and launch of the Fiji Kava Quality Manual early last year.

Source: DEPTFO News

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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