13 Aug 2012

Cooks pawpaw growers chided for missing chances

12:51 pm on 13 August 2012

Pawpaw growers in the Cook Islands are being criticised by the government for failing to take advantage of export opportunities.

The Secretary of Agriculture, Dr Mat Purea, says the growers had missed a trick after the country got approval for exports to New Zealand two years ago.

But inferior fruit or a lack of it, coupled with the failure of a heat treatment system and the collapse of a growers' association meant there was little to export.

The associate minister of agriculture, Kiriau Turepu, says the government has helped by providing seedlings and cheaper fertilizer.

He says if the growers don't pull their socks up or come up with the goods then what can the government do?