Quality, supply boost for Tonga root crops

Lotopoha Export Trading Chief Executive Officer Melesisi Finefeuiaki and PHAMA Plus National Export Market System Facilitator (Tonga) Paula Mosa’ati sign the partnership agreement. Photo: Melemanu Fiu Bloomfield

Tonga’s root crop sector is receiving a boost from a partnership aimed at improving export capacity to meet increasing quality requirements and market demands.

The partnership signed between Lotopoha Export Trading – a leading Tongan exporting company – and the Australian and New Zealand-funded Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) Plus Program looks at helping small holder growers with consistency in quality supply and production of root crops in Tonga.

The collaboration will include the delivery of good agricultural practices (GAP) information through Lotopoha’s strong networks of small holder growers in Tongatapu, Vava’u and Eua to improve productivity, yield and reducing cost of production through better production techniques.

This will support the increase in production and give a competitive edge for Lotopoha to maintain its export markets for various root crops, which include cassava, yam (kahokaho) and taro (yautia) as well as new improved varieties.


Sealing the deal with PHAMA Plus National Export Market System Facilitator (Tonga) Paula Mosa’ati, Lotopoha chief executive officer Melesisi Finefeuiaki said the partnership would help them work closer with their small holder growers, address supply issues and expand their supplier base.

“This partnership will also avail more access to market information by producers/exporters and strengthen linkages between value chain actors. It also gives us more opportunities for consistent supply of export quality raw material for processing, packing and export,” Ms Finefeuiaki said.

Mr Mosa’ati said the Program was proud to collaborate with Lotopoha, riding on its long successful partnership with the company in its previous PHAMA phase now known as PHAMA Plus.

“We are proud to have supported Lotopoha during a market visit to New Zealand in 2014 to inspect the arrival of their first trial shipment and secure a new buyer,” he said.

“PHAMA Plus’ support towards this partnership is part of its continuing efforts to develop Tonga’s root crop sector to achieve its overall goal of improving rural livelihoods and economic growth.”


*For more information, please contact PHAMA Plus National Export Market System Facilitator Tonga Mr Paula Mosa’ati on p.mosaati@phamaplus.com.au

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