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Horticulture

Enhanced fruit production and postharvest handling systems for Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga

Project Code: HORT/2014/077
Program: Horticulture
Budget:
A$2,300,001
Research Program Manager: Ms. Irene Kernot
Project Leader: Steven Underhill - University of Sunshine Coast
Duration:
JAN 2016
2019
DEC 2020
Project Status: Legally Committed/Active
Map
map_hort-2014-077
Key partners
Fiji National University
Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Forests and Fisheries
Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa
Secretariat of the Pacific Community
Sigatoka Research Station
University of Queensland
DOCUMENTS

Overview 

This project is increasing the economic and disaster resilience of selected tropical fruit value chains in Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga. 

Fruit production in the Pacific represents less than 10% of overall horticultural output. Low-intensity and semi-commercial fruit production systems, poor postharvest handling practices and limited value chain development are factors contributing to a decline in output. 

There is an emerging focus on fruit crops that enhance and diversify horticultural production to capture domestic and export market opportunities. These crops include papaya, pineapple, mango, breadfruit, and citrus. 

Improved economic and disaster resilience of domestic and/or export fruit value chains in Fiji, Samoa and Tonga will also aid rural economic development, alleviate poverty and create more resilient and diverse domestic food security. 

This project aims to increase the efficiency of fruit value chains; improve climatic resilience of breadfruit; provide targeted capacity building to the private sector and government extension services in support of identified fruit value chains; and enhance the engagement of smallholder farmers and communities in functional supply chains.  

Expected project outcomes

  • Increased experience and technical knowledge of Extension Officers in support of mango, pineapple, and citrus production in the region.
  • Strengthened capacity building of staff to provide post-project technical support to farmers through smallholder farmer-training workshops.
  • The establishment of a tropical tree fruit block in Tonga to provide a long-term asset for industry demonstration and fruit agronomic and postharvest training.
  • Support for Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa to be a regional leader in food and postharvest horticultural research.
  • Postharvest research undertaken in Fiji through the Fiji National University to promote wider institutional capacity building.
  • Opportunities through the Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees to undertake additional capacity building training associated with molecular-based methods.
  • The establishment of a packing shed on `Eua, and a community-owned fast ferry between `Eua and Tongatapu Islands to provide critical infrastructure and logistics.