4 Aug 2014

Call to revive Cooks agriculture

2:32 pm on 4 August 2014

The Cook Islands Business Trade and Investment Board says agriculture is suffering in part because most of the economic focus goes towards tourism.

The Cook Islands Secretary of Agriculture, Dr Matairangi Purea, says there is a huge demand for local produce, but there are not enough local growers or land to supply that demand.

The chief executive of the Business Trade and Investment Board, Terry Rangi, says over the last 30 years, as tourism has become more prominent economically, there's been less focus on agriculture as a sector.

He says this spells out the need to diversify.

"I think nationally it's a big concern. The economy focuses on our tourism sector, but you know as we get an increase in our tourism numbers, we also have to provide produce and vegetables for our tourism sector."

Terry Rangi says there needs to be a national programme to revive agriculture and local production.