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Government, stakeholders and farmers embark on a two-day dialogue to strengthen collaboration

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20th September 2018 The Acting Minister for Agriculture, Food, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFFF) Hon. Losaline Ma’asi opened a dialogue between the government, stakeholders of the agricultural sector and  farmers in Tonga under the theme ‘Where we are – and where do we want to go?’ at Basilica’s conference room this morning.

The forum provides an opportunity for MAFFF and relevant ministries to update farmers’ representatives on programmes that have been implemented and to strengthen collaboration on upcoming initiatives.

Hon. Ma’asi said the forum also offer opportunities for representatives from different farming groups and agricultural sub-sectors such as root crops, fruits and vegetables and livestock. They provide updates on the current state and issues they are facing and to raise with government some of the pressing policy issues they are experiencing.

“I am in support of this very forum and look forward to further and on-going dialogue between the Government and the industry stakeholders to support each other in further development of the agricultural sector and to ensure it is able to realise its full potential as the predominant major economic activity in Tongan economy.”

She hoped that the dialogue will bring about strategic actions to address the current immediate needs in the sector.

“The gaps and challenges expected to be identified during the dialogue today and tomorrow will help  with our way forward in the agricultural sector. We all rely on each other in this exercise and when one fails to progress, it will definitely affect the whole system which I’m sure we do not want to experience.”

She said that the government is ready to play its role to support initiatives from the forum in order to make it work for stakeholders and farmers.

The forum is supported through the “Strengthening Non-State Actors Engagement in Regional Policy Development and Implementation Programme” based at  the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and funded by the European Union’s 10th European Development Fund (EDF 10). It was co-hosted  by the Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON) and local farming bodies including GroFed, Nishi Trading Company and the MORDI.

ENDS

Issued by the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications

Last Updated ( Friday, 21 September 2018 09:47 )  

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