2 Jun 2011

Tonga eyes new ways to boost produce exports

3:06 pm on 2 June 2011

The agriculture sector in Tonga is hoping a new project aimed at helping the country access key markets for farm products will boost watermelon exports.

The Pacific horticultural market access programme, or PHAMA aims to address regulatory barriers in order to increase exports of high value primary products.

The Chairman of the Tonga Growers Association, Pousima Afeaki, says the project will focus on one product this year.

"The export season has already started. So under PHAMA in Tonga, we're looking to make sure that the export pathway for watermelons to New Zealand works very well and there are minimum hiccups so that the maximum amount of watermelons can be exported."

Pousima Afeaki is hoping the programme will eventually lead to greater exports in rockmelons, zucchini and other vegetables.