Perita Naslund and Prime Foods Daniel Forsyth with the Mangaia farmers. MELINA TUIRAVAKAI. 20071731
Pa Enua growers find market in Rarotonga through climate change project aiming to strengthen island food sources and livelihoods.
Mangaia produce has the full potential to be exported to Rarotonga as part of Climate Change Cook Islands Pa Enua resilience programme.
Pa Enua Action Resilient Livelihoods (PEARL) project manager Melina Tuiravakai said Mangaia is a true basket of resilience.
“Mangaia has such a diverse range of produce, seafood and traditional crafts,” she said.
This week the Climate Change team with Prime Foods visited farms around Mangaia, only to discover a wide range of produce from taro, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower cabbage, beans, cucumber, capsicum, ginger, kumara, yams, arrowroot, spring onions, corn, chili, dragon fruit, passionfruit, custard apple and eggplant.
Tuiravakai said the Climate Change PEARL project focuses on revitalised agricultural production systems, strengthening island food sources and livelihoods in the Pa Enua.
She said it is extremely important for them to work with their key stakeholders and lead support agencies to implement the project to build the resilient of the Pa Enua communities to climate change.
Prime Foods produce manager, Peri Naslund said on Mangaia they witnessed how diverse the produce and how much hard work the farmers, families and communities do to put 100 per cent locally grown produce on the table. Prime Foods managing director Dan Forsyth said they were thankful to be part of the project to find ways to market and improve a self-sustainable way of life for the Pa Enua.
“Each island has its own unique natural resources and we see with own eyes that the most valuable resource is its people,” he said.
“We know our Rarotonga market well and are excited to support the hardworking people of Mangaia by selling their products to our valued customers.”
He said Prime Foods remains committed to building lasting relationships with the people of the Pa Enua.
“We will continue to find ways to grow business together in an effort to improve their way of life and wellbeing,” he said.
The activities conducted on the island were related to farmers’ agricultural production of crops and livestock. They included an enterprise survey to capture demand of agriculture products/produce, market surveys to capture the quantity and value of agriculture produce sold and looking at opportunities to increase the consumption of local fruits and vegetables amongst Cook Islanders and reduce imported foods/import substitution.
The Climate Change PEARL project is working in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Business Trade and Investment Board, the island governments, island councils and community.
It is funded under the Adaptation Fund partnership with the National Implementing Agency Development Cook Islands, Executing Agency Office of the Prime Minister Climate Change Cook Islands Division and Lead Support Agency Ministry of Agriculture Cook Islands.