Banaban Voice

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Breadfruit could follow in Papaya’s impressive footsteps

July 29, 2011 Pacific Island Trade Commission

A couple of months ago, Pacific Periscope reported on the first successful sea freight shipment of Fijian papayas that arrived successfully in New Zealand’s produce markets. 

Following that successful sea freight trial, the Fiji Papaya Project, which aims to improve the industry’s competitiveness, is carrying post-harvest assessments on two consignments of Fiji papaya into the Melbourne market in collaboration with AgriScience Queensland. Meanwhile, it has received approvals for the improvements in sea freight packaging from New Zealand’s biosecurity authorities.

Some 435 tonnes of papaya were exported in the first six months of 2011 up from just 89 tonnes in the same period of the previous year. If current export trends continue, 2011 could be a record export year for the Fiji papaya industry.

Encouraged by the success of papaya exports, Nature’s Way Cooperative will launch its Breadfruit Project next month. The project named “Developing Commercial Breadfruit Production Systems for the Pacific Islands” will initially focus on Fiji and begin with nursery propagation and orchard establishment.

Though harvests and exports are expected to take two years, the Fiji Breadfruit Project will use a similar model to the Fiji Papaya Project and will share office facilities and other resources.

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