14 Sep 2007

Tonga government moves to support squash industry

10:26 am on 14 September 2007

Tonga's Ministry of Agriculture is stepping into the Squash Industry for the first time this year, as one of the growers, in order to boost declining squash production.

Peni Vea the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture told Matangi Tonga online, they had planted 100 acres of squash on a plot of land behind the Fua'amotu International Airport.

He says the main reason they have stepped in is to help the Tonga Squash Council maintain the minimum yield for the industry since many local growers withdrew.

He also commented there had been wrongful accusations that the squash planted belongs to the Prime Minister Dr Feleti Sevele.

He says he wants to clarify that this is false and the Ministry became a grower simply to help fill in the gap left by some of the local growers that withdrew, so that Tonga maintains its squash industry as well as its overseas market like Japan and Korea.