Fiji Kava: Taking Kava production to the next level

Watch the ABC Landline documentary on kava which features our former National Facilitator Fiji Dr Rohit, Fiji Kava’s Zane Yoshida, Green Gold’s Praveen Narayan and young farmers on Tutu Training Centre in Taveuni who use the PHAMA Plus supported commercial kava nursery.



A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and DT Global will grow agricultural trade between Pacific Island countries and Australia, through improved food security, better market access and biosecurity outcomes.

Signed 6 October by Australian Chief Plant Protection Officer, Gabrielle Vivian-Smith and DT Global Asia Pacific Managing Director, Frank Maiolo the MoU will strengthen the partnership between the department and DT Global through the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Program (PHAMA Plus) program.


Strengthening the future of women in the Papua New Guinea coffee industry!

The PNG Women in Coffee Association (WICA) has gained support from #Australia and #NewZealand through #PHAMAPlus to build a path towards a vibrant and inclusive coffee industry.

A five-year Strategic Plan is in place to provide a platform for women to have a stronger voice in the industry throughout various stages of the supply and value chain of coffee.

PHAMA Plus is pleased to support WICA in developing the plan that will promote and enhance the role of women in the PNG coffee industry.


Family Farm Teams (FFT) training – Vanuatu

Our first Family Farm Teams (FFT) training in Port Vila, #Vanuatu was a success! 🇻🇺

PHAMA Plus is excited to implement the FFT program which enables and facilitates farming households to work together as a family team and collaboratively plan the development of their agricultural and family activities. With the support of #Australia and #NewZealand, we’re rolling out the program through a series of Training of Trainers to our export partners across the #Pacific to encourage more effective, sustainable and gender equitable farming and business practices. Watch two of our participants from Vanuatu talk about the training and how it complements the work they do.


African Swine Fever awareness – PNG

Papua New Guinea (PNG) implemented an emergency response action to contain the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) reported in the provinces of Southern Highlands, Enga and Hela. PNG reported the first ASF incursion in Mendi, Southern Highlands on 28 March 2020; ASF has killed pigs across the world and has no known vaccine or effective treatment. The disease poses a combined social, cultural and economic threat to PNG and PNG’s biosecurity agency, the National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA), took swift action by mobilizing personnel and resources to the ASF declared areas.

While the response has significantly raised awareness of the disease and helped limit the spread beyond these declared provinces, an African Swine Fever (ASF) assessment was carried out in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to evaluate the impact of ASF emergency response work in declared disease areas. In the declared disease areas, approximately 143,000 households own over 719,000 pigs, and ASF poses a significant economic and cultural threat to these communities. We talk to two female pig farmers who share their insights on the ASF response work. 


Maintaining Tonga’s sweet watermelon trade

On 13 October, 2020 New Zealand biosecurity inspectors detected live fruit fly larvae in a consignment of watermelons from Tonga. The suspension caused significant economic hardship for growers, exporters and importers, and further damaged Tonga’s reputation for complying with export requirements.
PHAMA Plus worked with the watermelon industry and the Tongan Government to respond to the suspension of the Tonga-New Zealand export pathway. PHAMA Plus helped facilitate the quick reopening of the pathway by working with affected private sector partners, contributing to the MPI-MAFF audit, assisting MAFF to procure vital fumigation equipment and supporting liaison between partner agencies in Tonga and New Zealand. On 2 December 2020, New Zealand gave temporary approval or the pathway; less than two months after it was suspended.
Approximately 20 tonnes of Tongan watermelons were exported to New Zealand via air freight in December 2020. This was Tonga’s first commercial watermelon export consignment via airfreight, and the first consignment since the suspension on the Tonga-New Zealand export pathway in October 2020. The airfreight service provides more export opportunities and increased income for over 30 growers and 120 watermelon farming households in Tonga. PHAMA Plus continues to support Tonga to achieve full approval of the pathway as well to explore innovative ways to expand opportunities such as the production of frozen watermelon pulp.


#ChooseToChallenge with Aiona Mataele

Aiona is a root crop grower from the village of Kolonga and works for Lotopoha Export Trading in Tonga.

As the head of her household, she is committed to farming – a source of livelihood for her family.

“Women can do any job if they can dedicate to it,” Aiona says.

“There’s a lot of perception that farming is for men, and women are to do household chores, but women can work in the farm if they are given the opportunity.”

#PHAMAPlus supports men and women root crop growers like Aiona under a partnership with Lotopoha aimed at improving the productivity of root crops in Tonga. The partnership, supported by #Australia and #NewZealand, provides good agricultural practice (GAP) advice for growers as well as trial plots for better yield and production techniques.


#ChooseToChallenge with Kusuta Veikune

Kusuta is a watermelon grower from the village of Tatakamotonga in #Tongatapu, #Tonga. Married to Sosefo Amone with 7 beautiful children, the couple runs a family farming business – where everyone is involved and has equal roles.
They supply watermelons to Nishi Trading for the export markets.
“I draw inspiration and support from my husband. Farming for us is a partnership as a family where everyone is involved and has a role to play both at the farm and also at the local market,” Kusuta says.


#ChooseToChallenge with Dr Monika Devi

Happy International Women’s Day!
To mark #IWD2021, #PHAMAPlus is this week celebrating some of the leading women it works with. Dr Monika Devi, a veterinarian at the Biosecurity of Fiji (BAF) works closely with PHAMA Plus in safeguarding Fiji against African Swine Fever (ASF) – a viral pig killing disease. In this video, she tells you what #ChooseToChallenge means for her and what its like in her role!

PHAMA Plus is proud to work with women and men staff of Pacific biosecurity authorities perform their market access facilitation functions better.


Solomon Islands Cocoa Training Series

Cocoa is an important export earner in Solomon Islands. The Australian and New Zealand governments, through the PHAMA Program, have been supporting farmers to further develop the premium solar-dried cocoa export market. PHAMA has developed a series of videos that provides information and advice to cocoa growers and processors in the Solomon Islands on how to produce good quality cocoa for the premium or niche cocoa market.


Handicrafts Biosecurity Awareness Video for Vanuatu

The sale of handicrafts is an important source of income for many families in Vanuatu. However, a limiting factor to the growth of this industry is the cautious buying behaviour by tourists who are uncertain of the quarantine status and overseas biosecurity requirements of certain handicrafts. This video offers information to tourists on what can and cannot be brought into Australia and New Zealand, as the key markets for Pacific tourism. A handicrafts vendor guide has also been to handicrafts artisans and vendors to improve their awareness of biosecurity requirements.


Handicrafts Biosecurity Awareness Video for the Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands has a reputation for high quality handicrafts. The production and sales of handicrafts is an important income source for local people. As cruise ship and other visitor numbers to Solomon Islands increase, there is significant potential to increase handicraft sales. This video has been developed to inform tourists travelling to the Solomon Islands about which handicrafts they can or cannot take home as souvenirs.


Handicrafts Biosecurity Awareness Video for Papua New Guinea

This video has been developed by the Australia and New Zealand-funded Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) Program, in consultation with biosecurity authorities in Australia and New Zealand and in collaboration with PNG’s National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority, Tourism Promotion Authority and artisans and vendors from the private sector. The video is designed to inform tourists travelling to PNG about which handicrafts they can or cannot take home as souvenirs.


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