Launch of USD$4 million Tonga Rural Innovation project

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3 October  2012 - The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide a USD$3 million grant to the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga to improve sustainable livelihoods for vulnerable rural communities.

The Tonga Rural Innovation Project (TRIP) was launched by the Honourable Samiu Kiutau Vaipulu, Deputy Prime Minister of Tonga, at an event today in Nuku'alofa.

In Tonga, the economy is remains vulnerable, particularly in rural areas where employment opportunities are few, accesses to markets are limited and transportation costs are high. In addition, there is a constant flow of outward migration. About 70 per cent of the population lives in rural areas and depends on agriculture and fisheries for their livelihoods. Generally, rural poverty is concentrated among smallholder farmers and small-scale fishers, practicing a mixed subsistence and cash-crop production. A typical rural farming household produces coconut and root crops, such as taro, yam and sweet potato, which are sometimes supplemented by plantains and bananas.

Tonga Rural Innovation Project will scale up the successful Mainstreaming of Rural Innovation Programme (MORDI) implemented in Tonga by the local non-governmental organization MORDI Tonga Trust. The project will strengthen the capacity of targeted communities and businesses to plan finance and manage their development priorities in order to improve sustainable livelihoods. Focus will be on supporting the implementation of community development plans, and providing grants for community infrastructure for rehabilitation, or construction and maintenance. Links will be established with commercial banks to provide critical financing to agriculture enterprises and rural businesses to stimulate investment in rural economies.

ENDS

Issued by: Mordi Tonga, Tonga Trust, Nuku'alofa, 2012. Joint efforts of the IFAD, Government of Tonga and Tonga Trust MORDI.

Last Updated ( Monday, 17 December 2012 22:32 )  

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