Improving the Capacity of Cook Islands Domestic Farmers and Agro-processors to Supply the Domestic Market with Safe and Nutritious Foods
As a result of the Cook Islands’ declining agricultural production and increasing trade imbalance, there was an urgent need to develop policies and interventions that better link agriculture to the growing tourism sector. The Government of Cook Islands requested for FAO assistance to develop a Project that would improve the capacity of farmers and agro-processors to supply the domestic market with safe and nutritious foods. In close consultation with stakeholders, a project was developed that focused on developing high value “niche” agricultural products for export and for the domestic market. The methodology proposed for this project was based on practical “farmer to farmer” and technical exchanges within the Pacific islands. All of the training provided was hands-on in nature involving people already actively involved in the industry. A value chain approach was adopted based on the premise that agriculture products are pulled through the value chain by the private sector.