11 Nov 2013

The Cook Islands' Agriculture Minister says opportunities in vanilla

4:35 pm on 11 November 2013

The Cook Islands' agriculture minister says farmers in the country can make a lot of money from selling vanilla.

The ministry is developing the vanilla industry and is monitoring and learning from two farms on Rarotonga which are producing vanilla at a faster than normal rate.

Kiriau Turepu says growing vanilla does not require a lot of space and he believes farmers can fetch up to 35 US dollars a kilogramme for high quality beans.

"Even a 500 metre square unit and 500 metres for the house, 500 for vanilla, you can earn a lot of money from that 500 metre square -just vanilla alone, you can earn a lot of money."

Kiriau Turepu says there is demand for Cook Islands vanilla in New Zealand and a Tahitian businessman has offered to help with supplying other markets.