22 Jul 2016

Value for Tonga in livestock farming

4:06 pm on 22 July 2016

Tonga hopes to cut meat imports and save millions by 2020 in a five year plan outlined this week.

The aim is to cut the country's reliance on meat imports by ten percent each year.

The deputy chair of the Agriculture Growth Committee, Pousima Afeaki, says they want to increase livestock farming of sheep, pigs, poultry and ducks over the next five years.

An agriculture census last year showed a third of households kept pigs and that the national cattle herd had grown by 81 percent since 2001.

Sheep farming did not exist 15 years ago and is slowly building up, while chicken numbers are in dramatic decline.

Over the past 15 years chicken imports have doubled.