JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
Issued by: the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) and the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the University of the South Pacific
2 July 2015 Nadi, Fiji – Some of the best regional agribusiness success stories are on show at the Agribusiness Forum taking place at the Pacific Community Agritourism Week in Nadi, Fiji.
The Agribusiness Forum is organized by the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO), the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) with the support of the European Union. The Pacific Island delegates are joined by colleagues from the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean, thereby facilitating a cross-regional exchange of best practices.
Speaking at the opening, Fiji’s Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, the Hon. Inia Seruiratu, said:
Access to finance is a common challenge for many Pacific businesses, especially those in the agriculture sector.
The minister also urged finance institutions to offer solutions for farmers and others involved in agribusiness.
This is a good opportunity to share experiences and to also work more closely in agribusiness and other areas,
the Chairman of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Committee of Ambassadors, and Ambassador of Vanuatu to the European Union, H.E. Roy Mickey Joy, said.
This statement was reiterated by the Deputy Director of SPC’s Land Resources Division, Dr Ken Cokanasiga, who stated that: “The forum is promoting closer links between the agriculture and tourism sectors, to increase the use of local food and other products. Much of the food required by the tourism sector is imported, representing an opportunity for more local sourcing".
The Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation’s Chairperson Klaus Stunzner said that this forum is a catalyst to form partnerships as people network and learn from each other and hopefully form new business opportunities.
We need to strengthen the farmers’ organisations and local producers’ efforts to find competitive and profitable markets in the tourism industry and meet the demand for volume, quality, and regularity and safety requirements,
the Senior Knowledge Management Coordinator, Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation, Chris Addison said.
Taking place at the Sofitel Denarau, the inaugural Pacific Community Agritourism Week – a collaborative effort between the European Union, SPC, the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) and the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of the South Pacific (USP) – was officially launched this Monday and ends on Friday (3 July).
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