Some of the local produce that can be found at the market. Photo: CI NEWS/20062941
Agriculture – one of the biggest economic drivers of yesteryear – has failed the people of Cook Islands, says Opposition deputy leader William Heather.
Heather said there was no agricultural exports, the livestock people are eating were not being tested for disease and the fruit flies that arrived in the early 2000s are still present.
“There is no
export, no more drive for farmers to plant and export,” he said.
only 30 per cent of the mangoes grown on a tree were good to eat while the
remaining 70 per cent are infected by fruit flies.
where I’m saying agriculture has failed our people.”
Mitiaro, Atiu, Ma’uke, Mangaia and Aitutaki should be used as Rarotonga’s “food
these islands, start one with the fruits, the other with the veges, the other
if there was excess food after domestic consumption it should be shipped to New
and Tonga and these other islands manage to take their taro, their coconuts to
New Zealand then why can’t we.
we should do, we should be going and managing these things, that is the job for
“It seems to
me we’re just going day by day with whatever happens.”
the Cook Islands needed to at least try and eliminate the fruit fly.
The Ministry of Agriculture has been appropriated $1.45 million in the 2022/2023 Budget of which $1.09 million has been earmarked for personnel use and $314,509 for operating to deliver four outputs – crops research, biosecurity, advisory and corporate services.