And that’s why it has always been a dream of the “papas” in Manihiki to take action, as there is potential to increase food production and assist existing planters.
It was because of this potential that Te Matahorua Growers (TMG) organisation was formed and their dream of growing more food on the remote northern island became a reality through securing financial support from the government of India.
A total of $50,000 was approved to be spent on increasing the cultivation of agricultural crops on Manihiki, protecting cultivated areas from roaming animals, increasing the range of nutritious food available to the Manihiki communities and passing on agricultural and traditional farming practices to the younger generation.
Group chairman and Manihiki Island Government deputy mayor Tarau Kaina says: “This project has boosted the morale of our growers on Tukao. Farmers have already started planting whatever is available to them such as root crops and fruit.
“It’s not just about planting it’s also about preserving our traditional practices and passing this knowledge on to our children.”
It is anticipated that the project will increase agricultural production, improve the island’s self-sustainability and reduce its present heavy reliance on imported foods.
Te Matahorua Growers extend a special “thank you” to the government of India for their support, as well as to Melinda Pierre and the team at Development Coordination Division of MFEM for assisting TMG with the project. - Release