ACIAR Final Report Supporting a diverse and sustainable fruit tree industry in Tonga HORT/2014/090

Project report


Underhill, Steven, Singh-Peterson, Lila, Na'ati, Elisiva and Halavatau, Siosiua. 2014. ACIAR Final Report Supporting a diverse and sustainable fruit tree industry in Tonga HORT/2014/090. Sunshine Coast, Australia. University of the Sunshine Coast.
Title

ACIAR Final Report Supporting a diverse and sustainable fruit tree industry in Tonga HORT/2014/090

Report TypeProject report
AuthorsUnderhill, Steven (Author), Singh-Peterson, Lila (Author), Na'ati, Elisiva (Author) and Halavatau, Siosiua (Author)
Institution of OriginUniversity of the Sunshine Coast
Number of Pages48
Year2014
PublisherUniversity of the Sunshine Coast
Place of PublicationSunshine Coast, Australia
Abstract

This project builds on previous ACIAR’s investment (HORT/2006/108, PC (HORT) /2006/173 and PC/2012/049) that collectively sought to support the development of a sustainable and enhanced fruit production in Tonga. The primary objective of this project was to review and validate proposed priority fruits identified in PC/2012/049, with the intent of ensuring selected species provided a positive health contribution to the Tonga NCD remediation strategy, that they had agribusiness merit, that they aligned with current or anticipated local consumer demand, and that there was an underlying interest in involving smallholder farmers in growing the product. In undertaking this project, there was a deliberate focus on ensuring smallholder famer engagement and consultation, in terms of further refining fruit prioritisation and exploring potential strategies for industry development.

In validating agri-business merit of priority fruit, and to explore strategies for smallholder industry adoption, 31 interviews with private sector, government and NGO stakeholders were undertaken. Informal interviews and discussions were also held with representatives from UNWomen, Tonga National Youth Congress (TNYC), UN Development Program, Mainstreaming of Rural Development Initiatives - Tonga Trust (MORDI) and two gender specialists associated with ACIAR. These discussions were held to better understand how a culturally sensitive, women’s development project could be initiated in Tonga that would complement and support existing programs to embed and promote gender equity principles.

The research team note that 11 women were interviewed during the course of project with a further 40 female community members consulted during the workshop held in 'Eua. The
community workshop on the island of 'Eua was attended by 85 representatives from the 15 villages located in 'Eua. The workshop was held to further facilitate community dialogue
and participatory engagement in the process of identifying fruit industry development strategies. The elected town officers and district officers contributed greatly by organising participants to attend the workshop, and by contributing to the workshop discussions.

Keywordsfruit tree; industry; Tonga
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020440406. Rural community development
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of the Sunshine Coast
Ministry of Health, Tonga
Pacific Community, Tonga
Funding source
Grant ID
Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
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