29 Sep 2011

Vanilla export comment surprises Cooks agriculture minister

2:35 pm on 29 September 2011

The Cook Islands agriculture minister Nandi Glassie says he is surprised to learn that his French Polynesian counterpart, Kalani Teixeira, has ruled out importing vanilla from the Cook Islands.

Mr Glassie says the French Polynesia minister's comments come as news to him and there has to be some misunderstanding.

A large delegation of Cook Islands growers and members of parliament travelled to Tahiti recently with the aim of learning better horticultural and agricultural practices.

Mr Glassie also says the Cook Islands has already been earmarked by Japan, China and Australia for noni and vanilla, which is giving him confidence.

He says he has been visited by the owner of the largest vanilla farm in French Polynesia, who travelled through Rarotonga on his way to Mangaia where he taught local growers about vanilla production.