Fruit and nut trees project flourishes in Niue
One year on, Farmers in Niue see progress in an FAO project to replant fruit and nut trees on the Pacific nation.
Launched in March 2016, the two year project entitled – Niue Household Fruit and Nut Trees Integrated Replanting Project – is implemented by FAO and the Government of Niue to increase local fruits production as a means to improve food and nutritional security and increase employment. [restrict]
The project also aims to address the decline in domestic fruit production and productivity, increasing costs for fruit imports, and low income generated from agriculture.
Fruit tree expert, Brian Paxton returned to Niue on his 3rd mission since the initial implementation a year ago to work with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries (DAFF) and core famers who are active in this project. “Collaborating with farmers, the areas we worked on together included fruit tree selection, orchard layout, wind breaks, site preparation, planting, Irrigation, fertilizing, orchard management, harvesting, marketing and packaging”. Said Mr Paxton.
The development of the fruit tree demonstration area at the Vaipapahi Agricultural Research Farm, under the leadership of newly appointed DAFF Director Poi Okesene, has shown much progress since its establishment over a year ago. It has been the main area for demonstrating the management techniques to farmers and interested growers.
Natasha Toeono-Tohovaka, FAO National Correspondent from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries explains.
“The project continues to promote and increase awareness and knowledge among students and village communities on the importance of local fresh fruits and nuts for family nutritional needs and dietary practices. This will contribute to ensuring food security, combating Non Communicable Diseases, reducing imports of fresh fruits and creating an economic livelihood for some farmers”.
Major focus is to increase domestic production of fruits and nuts through a selection of fruit species and varieties and the adoption of improved production techniques and management practices. The project also includes supporting farm demonstrations with selected village farmers and schools to adapt technologies to local conditions. [/restrict]