8 May 2013

Rotuma poised to help Tuvalu over food security

6:41 am on 8 May 2013

Fiji's furthest flung island Rotuma is poised to start exporting food and water to Tuvalu and other countries in the northern Pacific.

Rotuma is closer to Tuvalu than to Suva and those behind the initiative say Rotuma's wide range of produce could take the place of more expensive imports from Australia and New Zealand.

The Executive Chairman of the Rotuma Export and Marketing Company, Hiagi Foraete, says Rotuma produces root crops, fruit and other vegetables as well as spring water.

He says the 18-hour boat ride would ensure fresh produce to the low-lying atoll which has limited food-producing potential and suffers in times of drought.

"I think we have the advantage of closeness which we can sell to them, not only at a lower price, but the freshness and the quality of the produce that Tuvalu will get from Rotuma."

Hiagi Foraete says Rotuma is also looking at exporting to Nauru, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia.