19 Apr 2007

Adding value to agriculture seen as a key to Tonga's economic growth.

10:11 am on 19 April 2007

Tonga intends make more of its agricultural sector, with an emphasis on adding value to raw materials.

This is one of the decisions taken at a three day economic summit this week.

Another is to establish overseas shops that showcase Tongan produce and transport minister, Paul Karalus, says this wider range of goods would be marketed through these shops.

He says Tonga wants to make more of its range of traditional essential oils, teas, coffee, and sweet potato.

"What we are trying to say in agriculture - let's develop diversity, let's develop the small holder who's the owner, let's develop the viability, let's also develop a sustainability ecologically. But I think most of all, for the betterment of the country as a whole, let's make that experience, the farming one, an enjoyable one, so that people can enjoy their land, enjoy their lifestyle."

The first of the showcase, or origin, shops will be in Auckland