The Fiji Times »The island’s organic journey

A study has shown that Rotuma has the potential to branch out into the production of organic pollinated seeds for businesses.

The study was carried out by the Pacific Ethical Trade Community (POETCom), the governing body of the organics movement within the Pacific Community (SPC).

According to the iTaukei Trust Fund Board (TTFB), a team, made up of representatives from TTFB, SPC, POETcom and the consultancy firm Matanataki, traveled to Rotuma in March to conduct a three-way training workshop. days on the Participant Guarantee System (PGS) for organic certification.

The workshop brought together 40 participants, including chefs and producers, women and youth from the seven districts of Rotuma.

According to the TTFB, the aim of the workshop was to start certifying land around the island and gradually expand, allowing development actors to manage waste well in order to comply with organic standards towards certification. PGS for the whole island.

After the March trip, business consultancy firm Matanataki recommended in its report that some very good natural products are already thriving on the island and can be sustainably managed as organic export products, including rotuma kava. , coconuts and organic plants.

This week, the TTFB and the Council of Rotuma announced their joy in receiving its Organic Rotuma certification from POETCom.

“This is an exciting new journey for Rotuma and for the Board of Directors. We are happy to be a part of this key step towards Rotuma’s organic accreditation. Having an accredited organic status will only boost Rotuma’s economic and environmental sustainability efforts, ”said Aisake Taito, CEO of TTFB.

TTFB said Rotuma Council representatives described the initiative as excellent and noble recognition of the efforts of many people and organizations, especially TTFB, SPC, POETcom, Matanataki and the people of Rotuma.

He said Rotuma Organic would be the island’s benchmark for niche markets where performance excellence has become the norm, a symbol that all Rotumans could proudly cherish and responsibly assume.

In the meantime, further discussions with the Rotuma Board are expected in the areas of identifying a biologic to begin with, including possible healthy value-added products.

According to the statement, some suggested products included turmeric, virgin coconut oil and organic seeds and it would also look at improving the skills and capacity building of those identified to carry out these various projects and secure markets for them. sustainable export for these identified organic products.

Mr Taito said the TTFB was in discussions with the Ministry of Agriculture to pilot a project on establishing an organic seedling nursery for commercial purposes.

He said this was an exciting chapter for the Rotuma organic pathway due to the many expected benefits of seedling production for the people of Rotuma, adding that the seedlings could also contribute to the rehabilitation efforts of the area. food security after natural disasters.

The TTFB-funded training workshop was facilitated by the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management and conducted by the Land Resources Division of SPC – the technical team POETCom and the consulting firm Matanataki.

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