|Farmer Workshops to improve sustainability in the Taro Pathway|
|Thursday, 14 April 2016 11:38|
A series of workshops took place late last year in Taveuni, Savusavu and Bua, to raise awareness on the sustainability of exported taro and to remind farmers on the important roles they play in the pathway.
The workshops were facilitated by the Pacific Community (SPC), KALANG and in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture on Developing Cleaner Export Pathways for Pacific Agricultural Commodities.
The ACIAR funded project is looking at restoring the viability of export pathways for taro by improving the sustainability of the taro supply chain. In addition, the project aims to identify improved on farm production techniques, determine suitable post-harvest handling and identify minimum pack house sanitary standards to ensure taro exports meet the importing country requirements.
The one week workshop highlighted the significant roles of farmers in the taro pathway and their contribution in keeping the supply chain sustainable. This is in the context of improving taro production, post-harvest handling, and supply and market access. Whilst raising awareness on the sustainability of the taro supply chain, farmers were also reminded of the importance of good farming practices to ensure consistent production of good healthy taro.
Through the workshop, the team was also able to identify issues that needed to be considered and addressed by the Taro Working Group and issues of importance to the Ministry of Agriculture as well. The northern workshop provided a platform to raise awareness on the sustainability of the taro pathway and the importance of good farming techniques to ensure consistent production of good healthy taro.
Fulfilling the project objective of disseminating project activity results in the workshop, the team of workshop facilitators assured the farmers that new technology will be made available to them in the near future to increase quality of production and reduce the incidence of pests and diseases encountered in the field.
Similar workshops were conducted on the main island of Viti Levu in Namosi, Serua, Naitasiri and Ra. The workshops will be continued this year in places that were not covered last year. The project ends in June this year.