Fijian Farmers Export Livestock To Tonga
SUVA, Fiji – November 25, 2018: 7.45pm (Information News): The relationship between the Governments of Fiji and the Kingdom of Tonga was strengthened with the recent export of livestock, facilitated by the Fijian Government upon the request of the Tongan Government.
This comes after some livestock farmers, with the assistance of the Ministry of Agriculture, sent a livestock shipment worth FJ$176,000 to Tonga, further enhancing existing co-operation between the two Pacific Island countries and developing an export market.
Director Animal Health and Production, Avinesh Dayal said local livestock farmers benefited from the export; “The exportation of livestock to Tonga will benefit farmers and exports since a new pathway has been developed with our Pacific Island neighbours.
“A total of 10 pigs, 50 sheep and 100 goats from eight farms were sold and farmers benefitted by receiving attractive prices for their animals, which they can reinvest back into their respective farms,” he said.
“For Government, we have gained invaluable experience in facilitating the exports through the negotiation of protocols.
“In the future, more farmers can benefit from this exercise seeing as a pathway or protocol for Tongan export of livestock has been developed,” he added.
With the Ministry previously exporting livestock to Tonga once before, Mr Dayal said the request paved an opportunity for local livestock farmers to benefit directly from this venture after having developed healthy relations with the Tongan Government.
“We also exported through our Government Research Stations once to Tonga before, which was bought by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) for the Tongan Government; this time, the request came for sheep, goat, and pigs.
“It was decided that this time around some successful farmers would be given the opportunity to export based on their good management practice, tagging and record keeping abilities and the quality of breeder animals on the farm.
“A total of 8 farmers were identified – 1onepig farmer, three sheep farmers, and four goat farmers all from the West,” he said.
Meanwhile, livestock farmer Samisoni Manewa of Tavua was grateful to have supplied the requested livestock for export saying; “I am happy that the Ministry approached me to supply my livestock as the revenue I have generated through my stock will greatly assist me in meeting the targets I have set out to achieve next year.”
“This collaboration by the Ministry has surely opened doors for other farmers like me and has given me another opportunity to continue to develop my farm,” said Mr Manewa.
The Ministry of Agriculture has now twice assisted the Governments of the Independent State of Samoa (formerly Western Samoa) and the Kingdom of Tonga through exports of livestock to both countries respectively.
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