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Local Fruit Growers are Assisted by the Stabex Project with Container Bins

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18 Friday 2011 On Friday, 18 February 2011, 9:00 am at Talamahu Market, the Hon. Sunia Manu Fili, Minister for Finance and Planning, and National Authorizing Officer for the EU Stabex Funds and Dr. Vailala Matoto, the CEO for the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Forests and Fisheries (MAFFF), handed over the bins to the vegetable and fruit growers in Tongatapu. Vegetable Growers from the outer islands will also be assisted with the distribution of these bins.

The purpose of this assistance from the EU-MAFFF Stabex Project is to upgrade the standard of containers of our local fruits and vegetables that are sold in our local market. It is also aimed to increase awareness on appropriate containers to reduce losses as well as for good hygiene purposes with these new containers.

At present, many small scale local farmers cannot afford to buy the appropriate containers and they resort to whatever container is available which includes sacks, coconut green baskets, and used cartoons to name a few. Many of these containers are inappropriate and unhygienic. Wrong containers also lead to high losses of produce and with this assistance; it is the hope of the Project Management that these containers are used according to the purpose - as containers of locally produced fruits and vegetables for the local market.

A total of 770 bins from New Zealand will be provided with a total cost of $39,000.

ENDS

Issued by the: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Food and Fisheries, Nuku'alofa, 2011. Prepared by Mrs. Leody C. Vainikolo, Project Manager, EU-MAFFF Stabex Project.

 

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