Tuesday, March 21st, 2017
Nuku’alofa, March 14, 2017–Following the signing of the contract between The Tokyo University of Agriculture (TUA), Government of Tonga, Mainstreaming of Rural Development Innovation Tonga Trust (MORDI TT) and Nishi formalizing a partnership arrangement between the parties for the implementation of the “Improvement of Livelihood and Health Conditions of Tongan People by the Effective Utilization and Processing Products of Breadfruit”. The Tokyo University of Agriculture (TUA), return this month on the 11th of March to begin the journey of implementing their Breadfruit Project. Official Launch was take place on Tuesday 14th of March, 2017, at NISHI Farm in Vaini. The Launch will be co-hosted by NISHI Trading and MORDI Tonga Trust, the Guest of Honor for the event is the Minister for MAFFF, Hon. Semisi Fakahau.
The project mainly targets the Island of Tongatapu with a focus on Small-holder farming Households, rural communities and related private sectors. The total project investment is ¥73,541,000 over a period of 5 years. The funding of the project is from JICA Partnership Program (JPP) , which was set-up in 2002 to support and cooperate with the implementation of projects formulated by Japanese Universities, Japanese NGOs, Japanese Local Governments to utilize their accumulated knowledge and experience in assisting activities for developing countries.
Tonga is the highest ranked country in terms of obesity along with many health-related problems caused by high dependence on imported food. The project aims to combat lifestyle diseases and poverty issues that arise from the increasing dependency on imported food. In order to decrease the dependency on imported food and to improve livelihood of local people, they need to re-evaluate traditional food resourcesse them more efficiently. Based on previous extensive survey by the Tokyo University of Agriculture, breadfruit was found to be neglected and wasted due to its abundance. It was from these surveys that breadfruit was chosen for its versatility and high processed value.
The project will work with target communities to reevaluate the usefulness of breadfruit development with new cultivation techniques of breadfruit; expansion of new processing technology of breadfruit among communities; development of new value chain of breadfruit by increasing exports initiated by private sector; and development of “social business” by the collaborative activities of private sector and the community. The project also hopes to create an ‘awareness campaign’ on the importance of traditional food.
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