A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
Interested in GIS?
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Posted 4:31 PM by Luigi
Cooks noni industry in trouble?
By Ulamila Kurai-Marrie of Cook Islands News via Pacific Islands Report.
RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Nov. 10) – The Cook Islands nono industry has taken a drastic dive forcing local growers and exporters to resort to a collective regional effort to save their livelihood.
Major local exporter Cook Islands Noni Marketing Limited's Teava Iro yesterday revealed that producers from Asia have undercut prices by flooding the international markets with cheap nono products.
[PIR editor’s note: Nono, also known as Noni in other parts of the Pacific, is a green, knotty tropical fruit is about the size of a potato prized by ancient Polynesians for its medicinal value.]
Some months ago, Iro's company was exporting an average of 25,000 litres of nono juice a month but this took a downward turn to as little as 8,000 litres last month.
The selling price from his Titikaveka factory was NZ$4.50 a litre during the heyday but dropped to 80 cents to meet the Asian market price.
"Our business had gained strength since we started and this has been a very sudden decline," he said.
And yesterday Iro said they might have to further lower their price to 50 cents a litre in order to regain the markets.
Iro is not sitting on his laurels to await any help. His company has helped organise a public meeting today at the Kent Hall with other growers to discuss the slump and design strategies.
"But I am also going to attend the regional nono growers meeting in Fiji next month to ask for a regional effort to maintain the industry," he said. "We do not have the turnover like the Asian markets and some regional markets that have cheap labour are selling at lower prices, too. So we want to push as one body from the region and lock markets and get everyone to benefit."
Cook Island growers have been getting between 70 cents to 90 cents a kilo for their fruit, whereas growers in Samoa and Fiji are getting about 15 cents a kilo.
These regional competitors have at their disposal a much cheaper labour force that results in lower overheads.
Another nono exporter, Ake Utanga, whose company Kia Orana Natural Products Limited sold frozen fruits to Europe and New Zealand, is no longer in business. Her buyers in Switzerland informed her last month to put on hold any further shipment since "all pending orders have been cancelled by our customers ... noni market here is not looking good".
The Swiss firm specialises in providing unfermented, pasteurised noni juice called 'green noni' as a novel food ingredient, to be used in pasteurised fruit drinks.
The firm's chief executive officer, Gary Martin, told Utanga that the issue is not about quality but rather "the lack of interest in noni as a whole".
Martin said that a meeting he attended in Germany last month where stories told were universal- "product is not selling and everyone is seeing a decline in sales". While Utanga has come to a complete standstill, Iro has not let go any of his workers.
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