The CTA/IFAD/PIPSO Promoting Nutritious Food Systems in the Pacific Islands – Fiji National Roundtable Workshop took place on 28 and 29 June 2017 at the Tanoa Plaza Hotel in Suva, Fiji.
Sixty-three participants representing government ministries, private sector, civil society, academia and regional/development organisations attended the two-day workshop.
Key messages from the workshop:
- Double burden of malnutrition, lack of infrastructure, low economic purchasing power and high availability of cheap imported convenience products negatively affect the health of Fijians.
- Insufficient production capacity (inconsistency, low quality and quantity) makes local nutritious food (fish, fruits and vegetables) unaffordable and uncompetitive.
- Inconsistent agricultural supply (quality and quantity) hinders growth in domestic (agribusiness and tourism) and exports markets.
- The agriculture, nutrition and demographic transitions put additional pressure on the agri-food system.
- Women are custodians of fisheries and agricultural knowledge, but they do not have enough decision-making power and face many barriers to business opportunities.
- Fiji farmers, fisher folk and agribusinesses/SMEs are not well networked and are not engaged in cooperative enterprises.
- Training for farmers, fisher folk and agribusinesses/SMEs (with an emphasis on women and youth) on value chain development, financial literacy and management, food safety, post-harvest handling, farming techniques, nutritional analysis etc. is required for value chain development.
- Multiple policies and frameworks that are not coherent with national development goals inhibit social and economic development.
- Set a high-level inter-connected socio-economic policy agenda using a multi-sectoral-coordinated approach (partnerships and shared responsibilities) for addressing agriculture, nutrition and agribusiness and for tackling non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Fiji.
- Establish stronger public-sector collaboration and relationship with academia and private sector for evidence-based policy and strategic planning.
- Organise networks/collectives of farmers, fishers, SME (agribusiness) to leverage support and address value chain challenges and consider clustering as a means to collaborate.
- Develop cohesive programmes and joint public-private financing platforms to increase availability of training and financing services for value chain development (farmers, fishers, SME agribusiness with a focus on women and youth).