18 Jul 2017

Tongan vanilla reaches record price

3:28 pm on 18 July 2017

A record export price for Tonga's cured vanilla has been reached with the crop returning over $US139 per kilogram.

Vanilla pods grown in the Cook Islands.

Vanilla pods grown in the Cook Islands. Photo: RNZ/Daniela Maoate-Cox

The minister of agriculture Semisi Fakahau revealed the record during Niuafo'ou's Royal Agricultural Show.

Mr Fakahau said Tonga's vanilla was unique and world renowned because it was farmed organically on the far north island of Niuafo'ou.

He said the island had the best soil for growing vanilla and sandal wood.

Niuafo'ou is the only island in Tonga that still organically farms the crops.