6 Jul 2015

Closer links sought in Pacific agriculture and tourism

11:00 am on 6 July 2015

A conference in Fiji hopes to link Pacific farmers with the tourism industry, to encourage greater agricultural development in the region.

240414. Photo RNZ. Vanuatu. Port Vila, fruit, market, stall, ni-Vanuatu,

Bananas and mandarins at the market Photo: RNZ

A team leader for the Secretariat of the Pacific Community's Agriculture Policy Project, Vili Caniogo, says it makes sense to link agriculture and tourism.

He says tourism in the Pacific is increasing by 3.5% per annum and that demand should be harnessed by the region's farmers.

"Crops like cabbages, capsicum, lettuce, tomatoes, these crops are often in short supply. Those are the types of crops that constitute a major component of our import deal."

Mr Caniogo says up to 80% of food is imported in the Pacific.

He says last week's SPC Agritourism Week focussed on training local farmers to grow produce that the chefs need, while they encouraged the chefs to use more local produce.