14 Feb 2012

Tonga's need to buy locally to fuel economy

7:29 am on 14 February 2012

The governor of Tonga's Reserve Bank, Siosi Mafi, says a key to economic recovery is the people eating locally produced food.

Tonga is in the midst of a severe economic downturn, with Radio Tonga reporting that remittances have fallen by nearly 49 million US dollars since 2008.

Exports have also fallen and unemployment is higher.

The Reserve Bank has urged the country to work together to limit the impact of the slide.

Mr Mafi is optimistic that tourism will help spark a recovery.

But he says this will only succeed if Tongans also support the agriculture and fisheries sectors, by eating local food and using locally made products.