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Farming and agribusiness

For immediate release - 2 July 2015

July 2, 2015

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE  

Issued by the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) and the University of the South Pacific (USP).

Nadi, Fiji – Some of the best regional agribusiness success stories are on show at the Agribusiness Forum taking place at the Pacific Community Agritourism Week in Nadi, Fiji. The Agribusiness Forum is organised by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO), with the support of the European Union. The Pacific Island delegates are joined by colleagues from the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean, thereby facilitating a cross-regional exchange of best practices.

Speaking at the opening, Fiji's Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, the Hon. Inia Seruiratu, said: "Access to finance is a common challenge for many Pacific businesses, especially those in the agriculture sector." The minister also urged finance institutions to offer solutions for farmers and others involved in agribusiness.

"This is a good opportunity to share experiences and to also work more closely in agribusiness and other areas," the Chairman of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Committee of Ambassadors, and Ambassador of Vanuatu to the European Union, H.E. Roy Mickey Joy, said.

This statement was reiterated by the Deputy Director of SPC's Land Resources Division, Dr Ken Cokanasiga, who stated that: "The forum is promoting closer links between the agriculture and tourism sectors, to increase the use of local food and other products. Much of the food required by the tourism sector is imported, representing an opportunity for more local sourcing".

The Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation's Chairperson Klaus Stunzner said that this forum is a catalyst to form partnerships as people network and learn from each other and hopefully form new business opportunities.

"We need to strengthen the farmers' organisations and local producers' efforts to find competitive and profitable markets in the tourism industry and meet the demand for volume, quality, regularity and safety requirements," said Chris Addison, CTA Senior Programme Coordinator for Knowledge Management.

Taking place at the Sofitel Denarau, the inaugural Pacific Community Agritourism Week – a collaborative effort between the European Union, SPC, CTA, SPTO, PIPSO and USP – was officially launched Monday and ends on Friday (3 July).

More information available at:

Media contacts

Stéphane Gambier, ‎Senior Programme Coordinator for Communication, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), gambier@cta.int + 31 (0)317 467 179

Anju Mangal, Knowledge Management Specialist, SPC, anjum@spc.int  +679 9925 766

Talei Tora, Communication Specialist, South Pacific Tourism Organisation, ttora@spto.org +679 9985 626

Erica Lee, Communications and Research Officer, Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation, erical@pipso.org.fj +679 9214 638