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Larger land holdings key to future, says Manarangi-Trott

Tuesday June 05, 2018 Written by Published in Politics

It will be important for the future of agriculture in the Cook Islands to coordinate the growing of vegetable and fruit produce and encourage large economic holdings in the outer islands.

 

However, labour will have to be imported to support them says the independent candidate for Tupapa Maraerenga, Teresa Manarangi Trott.

Rarotonga is becoming a more difficult place to support large holdings, hence the need to look at outer islands agriculture development to reduce the country’s reliance on overseas imports, she says.

Manarangi-Trott says statistics fail to tell the true story of agricultural production in the Cook Islands.

In a media release, she said there was “a lot” of agricultural activity in the country, which was not being captured by statistics.

“However it is obvious in the markets and roadside stalls.  This is something that the Ministry of Agriculture will concentrate on over the next couple of years under the new Adaptation Project.

“Agriculture in the Cook Islands mostly comprises small homestead or household farms and small plots and it is these small plots that are being excluded in the statistics. 

“There are few large farms that could meet the demands of any one agricultural product and could be considered economic units.  

“Agriculture needs dedicated support from Cook Islands agricultural specialists as was the case when training was carried out in Apia, Samoa for many years. But these same specialists have not been replaced. 

“It would be a good start to ensure we continue to train Cook Islanders to carry the agricultural torch.”