Encouraging locally grown fresh produce on Tongareva

Monday September 28, 2020 Written by Climate Change Cook Islands Published in Outer Islands

Two new hydroponics and school gardens have been implemented on Tongareva, courtesy of the Adaptation Funded Pa Enua for Resilient Livelihoods (PEARL) Project.

They were handed over to the Tongareva Island Government and community by Infrastructure minister Robert Tapaitau and Agriculture secretary Marama Anguna-Kamana.

They are opportunities to increase the consumption of local fruits and vegetables amongst the community on Tongareva and reduce imported foods.

Hydroponics encompasses growing plants using water without soil, which for coral islands is a great option and supports locally grown fresh produce in the Pa Enua.


The farming also plays an important role in the agriculture sector, especially during off-seasons or dry spells and should also be something to consider in regard to climate change.

Agriculture secretary Marama Anguna-Kamana said: “The island’s hydroponics and school gardens will assist in supporting the island agriculture and communities in enabling them to grow more fresh vegetables and fruits.”

“It is essential to unlock the potential and innovation of the agriculture sector in the Pa Enua and ensuring increased food security resilience and preparedness for disasters.”

The sandy soil of the northern group atolls can make growing a variety of greens a challenge and hydroponics presents an alternative innovative option to provide the possibility of increasing food and nutrition with fresh vegetables, Anguna-Kamana said.

PEARL project management unit coordinator Melina Tuiravakai said: “Modern hydroponics systems allow for the targeted use and reduction of fertilizers and other agri-chemicals, as well as accurate use of water, to create a reduced environmental impact and increase productivity outcome.”

“Under the PEARL Project the goal is to support our implementing lead agency, Ministry of Agriculture in its key deliverables, support Island Government Agriculture nurseries/hydroponic, crops with social/cultural significance, increase food security with variety of fresh vegetables/fruits, improved trees for coastal protection and garden system for low nutrient soils.”

Tuiravakai added: “It is also vital that we encourage students to participate in agriculture as they will gain self-confidence, new skills and knowledge in growing.”



1 comment

  • Comment Link jane.towart Monday, 28 September 2020 22:03 posted by jane.towart


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