4 Jul 2014

Cash food crops for Cooks outer islands

8:26 am on 4 July 2014

The Cook Islands Democratic Party hopes its resurrected plan for outer islands development will help it back into government in next week's elections.

The Cooks go to the polls on July the 9th and the Democrats have been in opposition since losing to the Cook Islands Party in 2010.

De-population, particularly in the outer islands, is an issue and the Democrats president Sean Willis says a scheme advanced at the last election, promoting agricultural development on Mauke, Atiu and Mangaia, remains feasible.

He says these southern islands, which all have rich soils, could be used to grow food for the tourism market in nearby Rarotonga.

"That could initially save up to 3 million dollars in imports and the amount of work it gives the people in these 3 outer islands, the infrastructure had been put in place - which was water, power and the fact that they are making money from the vegetables and crops that they could sell back to Rarotonga for the hotels etc, would keep the people in the outer islands."

The Cook Islands Democrats party president, Sean Willis.