Construction and upgrading of cold room storage set to expand access to fruits and vegetables in Fiji

Suva

Jonathan Landry, SPC IKSA Project Manager and Aman Singh (Aman's Marketing) in the SPC- EU funded cool room facility at Aman's Marketing in Namaka, Nadi.
 

The tourism and retail sectors around Fiji will have greater access to more varieties of fresh fruit and vegetables thanks to the construction of a new cold room. This modern cold storage facility will allow Aman’s Marketing, a Fiji based company, to improve its handling and storage of pineapple and watermelon and to enable the company to expand its supply to the tourism and retail sectors.

The cold room is part of the “Improving Key Services to Agriculture” (IKSA) agriculture and horticulture project, funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC)

IKSA has also assisted another Fijian company “Farmboy” to upgrade their operations through the resurfacing of its processing room floor, installation of air conditioning and upgrading their freezer and cold room storage, and the provision of stainless steel tables to inspect and sort produce.  This upgrade will enable “Farmboy” to process produce and meet high quality control standards expected by clients.

“The European Union is proud to have supported the IKSA project which has been assisting farmers, particularly horticulture and food crop growers, to upgrade their export product processing and marketing infrastructure. This has not only facilitated new market opportunities for horticultural products but also contributed toward import substitution. We hope that other traders will be encouraged to improve their farm infrastructure, attain international quality standards accreditation, rapidly expand their customer base and increase profitability. This will contribute to improving the livelihoods of sugarcane dependent populations, increase income and reduce poverty,” said Emmanuelle Guiheneuf, Head of Economic Cooperation and Agriculture Section of the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific.

Patricia Sachs-Cornish, SPC’s Chief Advisor, said: “Preservation of the cold chain and the consistent delivery of fresh and high quality produce is the key to substituting imported fruits and vegetables with locally grown produce from Fijian Farmers.  SPC continues to focus their agricultural sector support and research on quality and safety from the farmer to the final consumer, and we are delighted with the development of the private sector and the tangible improvements being achieved.”

The IKSA project has been working to support farmers in the sugar cane belt to increase and improve the production of horticultural crops through the provision of enhanced research and extension services, nursery and farmer development, and improved market access and trade. It has supported farmers in Fiji’s sugarcane belt to grow more fruits and vegetables through the provision of training, improved seed and seedling supply, and developing markets.  The project has shown that there are opportunities to replace imported fruits and vegetables, such as tomato, capsicum, broccoli and melons and grow exports of papaya, eggplant and root crops.  [ENDS]

Background:
The IKSA project has been working to improve and enhance agricultural services to allow sugarcane farmers to increase on-farm incomes by enhancing their supply capacities through assisting with access to seed, seedlings and farm inputs, provision of practical training through farm demonstration plots and communications, and linkages to markets. The IKSA project ends in 2018 and is working closely with the Fiji Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, to strengthen research and extension services and to enhance support services to farmers in Fiji’s sugarcane belt area to cushion the economic and social impacts of the restructuring of the sugar industry.  

IKSA is one of several projects implemented by SPC and financed by the EU in Fiji’s sugarcane belt. These projects are linked to the EU’s Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol (AMSP) programme and aim to help strengthen rural sugar-income dependent communities in response to the EU’s Sugar Price Reform and the adverse conditions in the sugar industry. The AMSP programme is designed to improve the livelihoods of sugarcane dependent populations, increase income and reduce poverty.

Media contacts:
Debbie Singh, SPC Sugar Projects Communications Specialist │ Email: [email protected] 
Mohammed Nazeem Kasim, EU Press Officer │ Email: [email protected]

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