22 Feb 2013

Kiribati MP again advocates growing rice

12:15 pm on 22 February 2013

A Kiribati MP and academic Mareko Puta Tofiga says he is confident the country can grow rice and wheat.

Professor Tofiga's comment comes amid a public outcry over a nearly month-long shortage of basic food commodities such as rice and flour.

He says he's already asked the Agricultural Department to import seeds.

More than 30 years Professor Tofiga, who has taught crop science in several countries, presented a report to the Kiribati Parliament on the potential for some islands to grow the crops and he started pilot projects on Makin, the north of Butaritari, the Line Islands and in South Tarawa.

He has told the Kiribati Independent he is not sure why Parliament did not pursue the findings of his report, but he says if they had there would not now be a major public outcry.