24 Mar 2011

Cooks Agriculture Ministry starting from scratch with agriculture scheme

3:39 pm on 24 March 2011

The Minister of Agriculture in the Cook Islands says budget constraints means the ministry is starting from scratch with funding the agriculture revitalising scheme, Te One Kura.

The project, which is valued at 2.6 million US dollars, was introduced by a former agriculture minister Robert Wigmore to boost agriculture production in four outer islands.

The new minister, Nandi Glassie, says he is seeking funding to get the programme off the ground as there is no money for it.

He says the scheme may be launched on Atiu before it is extended to Mauke, Mitiaro and Mangaia.

"Our strategy at present, is because of budgeting constraints, we can only start looking at piloting the concept. So we have a one island approach to test the concept out, and of course with less money at this stage. We will be working stage by stage every year."

Nandi Glassie says he hopes the outer islands will eventually supply produce to markets in Rarotonga.