20 Jan 2017

No growth for Cook Islands agricultural exports

8:36 pm on 20 January 2017

Cook Islands agricultural exports are expected to remain stagnant following a rapid decline over the past few years.

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Photo: 123RF

The government predicts the annual return from exports will remain at around $US 306,000 until the 2019/2020 financial year.

It said export forecasts continue to be stagnant, with the termination of fresh maire ei exports to Hawaii last July an example of the issues agricultural exports continue to face.

However, it said other products such as noni have some export potential due to demand from Japan and China.

It said investment is being made in vanilla and noni production, as well as support for the revitalisation of root crops.

However, it said the industry faces problems including sub-standard biosecurity facilities for international market access, as well as prohibitive costs and a shortage of labour.

The agriculture sector accounted for 3.1 percent of Cook Islands GDP in 2015, a 0.3 percent decrease from 2014.

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