29 Nov 2016

Tonga ships squash to China for the first time

2:34 pm on 29 November 2016

Tonga has sent its first ever consignment of squash to China.

Squash remains the country's main agricultural export, with South Korea and Japan the traditional markets.

The chief executive of the Agrculture Ministry, Viliami Manu said a critical factor is being able to service those markets in late November and early December when Tonga is able to command better prices.

He said efforts to secure a market in China had been underway for a year.

"Finally on this season we were planning on opening the market with 200 tonnes. But the team of inspectors pre-assessing the cargo before it leaves Tonga, only arrived late, so only one 40 foot container was left - which is about 24 tonnes."