Objective:

To conduct scientific research to develop, adapt and transfer appropriate and affordable solutions to agricultural problems of high national priority.

Outcomes:
  • Improved appropriate and affordable technologies to enhance the performance of agriculture sector
Outputs:
  • More effective scientific research and development of more appropriate and affordable agricultural technologies to help solve the agricultural problems of farmers, relevant stakeholders and consistent with national priorities
  • Improved and strengthened partnership with relevant stakeholders in order to encourage sustainable resource management, improve productivity and output
Program Overview:

The transfer of scientific and technical knowhow is the integral part of the division function. The division comprises 25 scientific and administrative staff at Vaini Research Station. There is only one on-going project on Climate Change and Resilience funded by ACIAR and SPC. The focus of research will be directed towards Conservation and Maintenance of National Biodiversity; Crop protection, pesticide registration; provision of Technical Advisory and support services. Ministry and MET will cooperate in promoting the “School of Agriculture” targeting the youths and school drop outs as foundation for future farmers of Tonga.

Root Crop Research & Development Program:

The program aims to do research on new varieties which specific to climate requirements with the required cultural practices and tolerant to drought and pests and diseases.

Vegetable Research Program:

The project will conduct research on crops for import substitution and production of quality seeds to strengthen food security. The introduction and evaluation of new varieties/commodities to replace the existing export varieties/commodities is fundamental to the growth of vegetable production in Tonga. The development of continuous vegetable production in collaboration with the Chinese Aid Project (CAP) will ensure the availability of quality vegetables throughout the year. Hence, it is important to maintain the new technologies from the CAP to reduce imports and ensure the consistency of supply.

Integrated Pest Management:

Brassica crops, especially English and Chinese cabbages, are important commodities for both large and small farmers in Tonga. DOA in collaboration with the SPC to facilitate the adoption and uptake of integrated pest management (IPM) as a component of sustainable agricultural management system for Brassica crops which is funded by ACIAR.

Sweet Potato Weevils Research Program:

The latest research finding funded by ACIAR is on the sweet potato beetles in Tonga. This program is geared to identify remedy as the severity and frequency of attack can create food insecurity if not controlled at the right time.

Laboratory upgrading:

To prepare the ministry laboratory for chemical analyst service and for Research purposes.

Farm Mechanization Development Program:

The program aims to design and develop appropriate equipment for planting and harvesting of root crops. The primary objective is to design a simple cost effective agricultural tools and equipment appropriate to the needs of farming community.

Research & Development for Drought Resistant Commodities:

Due to consistent impact of climate change Vaini Research Station aims to provide farmers with viable varieties with farming systems and practices to enhance production and livelihood of farmers.

Fruit and Papaya Research Program:

The program aims to provide reliable data to promote the viability of industry for exports. Farmers will have a guide to maximize their production through good agriculture practices (GAP) following the recommended pathway. This program also expects to strengthen the food security and import substitution programs.

Tissue Culture Program:

Tissue culture activities need to revive since it is one of the safest and fastest ways of producing, conserving and maintaining our GPR.

Soil Analysis Service Program:

This program aims to address the relevant stakeholders the importance of soil testing and how best these data be utilized in order to achieve the maximum return of their fertilizer investment.

Sustainable Land Management:

The program aims to bring about awareness and educate the farmers, youths, schools, and community on better land use management technologies. The focus will be on parts of the country where developments occur on sloping lands with unsustainable practices leading to the destruction of ecosystem functionality and integrity affecting food security and sustainable farm economies thus living standard of rural population deteriorates. It will provide support for sustainable land management technologies and Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) to minimize land degradation problems.

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