Partnership to double Tongan growers’ production and income

Partnership to double Tongan growers’ production and income

The Growers Federation of Tonga Inc. and PIFON (Pacific Islands Farmer Organization Network) are going to sign a Letter of Agreement by the end of January 2015 sealing an agreement that PIFON will finance four practical training activities for Tongan Growers in 2015.

These training activities include training on how to consistently produce pineapple all year round; how to grow and manage papaya plantation for the export market; basic training for growers on how to plan production, safe use of chemicals and good agricultural practices as well as open pollination of vegetable seeds.

Two of the training programs will be run by experts from the Pacific and two will be facilitated by local experts. Peter Kjaer of Tei Tei Taveuni, Fiji will be in Tonga in mid 2015 to demonstrate techniques on producing pineapple fruits consistently throughout the year.

Another exciting training to come is the open pollination of vegetable seeds. For so long, Tongan vegetable growers have relied heavily on imported hybrid pollinated seeds. Training on open pollination will reduce growers’ cost of production through cheaper local production, storage and supplying of seeds.

These training activities will not only enhance concerned growers’ knowledge and experience on commercial vegetable farming, moreover – they will have more money in their pockets for their families.
Growers are very excited about these new opportunities to learn more and earn more.

These training activities include on how to consistently produce pineapple all year round; how to manage papaya plantation for the export market; basic training for growers on how to plan production, safe use of chemicals and good agricultural practices as well as open pollination of vegetable seeds.

These training activities will not only enhance concerned growers’ knowledge and experience on commercial farming, moreover – they will have more money in their pockets for their families.

Growers are very excited about these new opportunities to learn more and earn more.

The agreement is part of the second phase of the Medium Term Cooperation Programme (MTCP2) sponsored by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) which now includes countries in the Pacific.

7 Comments

  1. Admin says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Toilea and Sinai!

  2. Am wondering how many ‘real’ rural community-poor subsistence farmers are members of this Growers Federation of Tonga Inc.? Let puts the real pictures on this regard; more than 89% of the farming population of Tonga are small-rural-subsistence farmers/growers. Am I right by saying in this comment that most of you proactive farmers and exporters members in this Growers Federation of Tonga are on the other 11% population are real commercial farmers in Tonga? I guess you all are!
    From July 2014 to January 2015 the most affected farmers group in Tonga, by the very prolonged Agricultural Drought were the most vulnerable rural-poor farming subsistence communities on rural villages. All their basic food crops production were badly affected for more than six months. Taros, Cassava, Yams, Sweet Potato; fruits & vegetables – Brassicas, Melons, Beans, Tomato, Sweet Pepper/Hot Pepper; Peles/Beles; and tree crops – coconuts, breadfruits, mangoes, pineapples, Pacific Longans were all affected i.e. cassava crops lost (>45%) leaves – leaves drop-off as well as short supplies of watermelon, tomato, beans, Taro Leaves, Pele Leaves, earlt fruits drops on mango, breadfruit; smallness of pineapple fruits…., and still do effecting now.
    I am sure he prime urgent needs I am sure of most small farmers were dreaming of are some financial and technical assistance to procure and to install some efficient but effective (1) irrigation systems such as buckets or other appropriate drip irrigation systems for their small vegetable farms and or their home gardens (2) a integrated crop management and or integrated pest management to help the unforeseen high severity of pest and diseases on field crops and level of pest infestation on taros, Giant taro (Kape), cassava by Broad mites and Aphids, the Sweet Potato weevils, Diamond-back-moth and large-cabbage moth attacking Brassicas (cabbages) as well as Tomato fruit-worms and the high incidences of fruit flies attacking hosts such as Papaya/pawpaw, mango, tomato, sweet pepper. I understand climate changes such as prolonged Agricultural drought will continue on this year (2015) as forecasted by the WMO (see WMO’s provisional statement on the Status of the Climate in 2014 http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/press_releases/pr_1009_en.html).
    I may suggest that all supports should be prioritized and be always directly given to and to be recieved by the most vulnerable farming rural communities (the 89% of the total farming population of Tonga). The Tonga Ministry of Agriculture SHOULD always task to assure any technical assistance is to be received by the 89% of the subsistence rural farming sector of Tonga.

  3. Audie Posadas says:

    We have the same problem in the Philippines, the source of water irrigations is not fully distributed to mostly rice farmers. We are now introducing the solar pumps for farm irrigations and poultry growers. During long dry summer (December-July) this solar pumps are the life savers of investments. If requires more information and details please contact me

  4. HC says:

    that wonderfull

  5. Ana says:

    Correction to Pineapple consultant’s name: Peter Kjaer