This 2013 study assessed the adequacy of existing horticultural processing and marketing infrastructure in Tonga for current and projected future exports. Tonga has well‑established export industries in squash and watermelon (3500 tonnes/annum), root crops (3600 tonnes/annum) and coconuts (1,100tonnes/annum). Mostly these go to New Zealand, but also to Australia, Japan and the USA. Opportunities exist to expand export volumes to these markets, particularly in root crops, watermelon, and air-freighted fresh fruit and vegetables. However, such expansion is constrained by inadequate processing facilities, and for fresh fruit and vegetables, a lack of market access protocols. The report recommends that two processing facilities on Tongatapu be upgraded, and two new decentralized facilities be built. All facilities would preferably be owned and operated by the exporters.
Key words: frozen root crops, market access pathway, coconut, frozen root crops, squash, watermelon, STABEX facility, High Temperature Forced Air Treatment (HTFA), fumigation, HACCP certified, processing infrastructure