Agriculture is the third largest industry in Fiji, and engages around 70% of the population primarily in subsistence agriculture and sugar cane farming.
Despite its importance to the general population, the agriculture industry in Fiji has been in long-term decline, falling from 16% of GDP in the 1990s to 9.2% in 2012. Reasons for the decline include lack of international competitiveness, limited private investment, inadequate infrastructure and high input costs.
The sugar industry has benefited from long-term preferential access to the EU, but this is being phased out. Consequently, there has been a slow but gradual national shift away from sugar farming towards cultivating root crops and horticulture. Dalo (taro) is a particularly important crop both as a domestically consumed staple and for export. Other important export crops include yaqona (kava), ginger and tropical fruits such as pineapples, pawpaw and mangoes.
Central to the PHAMA approach is the development of strong public-private partnerships between governments and the private sector to help manage market access.
Market Access Working Groups (MAWGs) have been established by PHAMA within the core PHAMA countries. These include exporters and relevant government agencies responsible for elements of market access (e.g. the Ministry of Agriculture, Biosecurity Authority of Fiji and Ministry of Trade and Industry). MAWGs provide the link between farmers, processors, exporters and government.
PHAMA’s strategy in Fiji is to support government and industry to utilise export opportunities for fresh agricultural products, identify and develop new export opportunities for fresh and processed products, and strengthen contingency planning and surveillance for pests and diseases of plants and animals.
The current focus areas are listed below.
The Industry and its significance Kava, known as yaqona in Fiji, is widely consumed as a beverage informally and in ceremonial settings. Bundles of the dried root are presented as a ceremonial offering (sevusevu) when entering villages or for other significant occasions. Over 21,000 farms grow kava worth an estimated FJD66 million (AUD42 million) per...Read More