In line with the Ministry of Agriculture’s effort to increase local breadfruit production for food security and export the Fiji Institute of Agricultural Science (FIAS) in collaboration with the Pacific Breadfruit Project organized a National Breadfruit Symposium at Tokatoka Resort in Nadi today.
Speaking at the symposium, the Acting Deputy Secretary for Agriculture Development, Mrs Miliakere Nawaikula said that more attention needs to be given on research of breadfruit and its products in order to fully capitalize the existing market potentials.
“Breadfruit is an important crop not only for Fiji but the whole Pacific Island Countries. It is grown as a food security and an export crop.
“Nature’s Way Cooperative has been exporting breadfruit to New Zealand since 2001 and exports have remained around 10-12 tonnes per year however, market potential exists for 200 tonnes annually,” Mrs Nawaikula said.
“Apart of fresh fruit exports, breadfruit also has potential to be processed and there are numerous niche breadfruit based food products already available throughout the region. The fact that gluten free flour can be produced from breadfruit represents debatably the largest single market opportunity for the industry across the region.
“The University of Hawaii and US exports estimated the global market demand for gluten free flour at 100,000 tonnes per week.
“Breadfruit of commercial purposes is currently sourced from the community and low intensity smallholder plants. That results in low and unpredictable supply volumes, it’s the single most important impediment to industry development,” Mrs Nawaikula said.
She added that orchard based farming is needed to be promoted in order to achieve the consistency, volumes and quality of produce.
“Varieties have been collected and germplasm plots established at the Research Stations need to be closely monitored and relevant data collected that translates to meaningful application with a focus to community based economic development and local capacity building.
“Expanding breadfruit agroforests will produce major economic opportunities, health and food security, environment stability and community resilience wrapped up in one tree that will benefit not only Fiji but the whole region.
“Breadfruit has been and will always be around that is easy to grow in a wide range of ecological conditions with minimal care. Trees begin bearing in 3 to 4 years. It reduces the amount of labour needed to grow crops that require harvesting and replanting; it also reduces top soil loss and stores carbon.
“Symposiums like this one provides a platform to all those interested in advancing agriculture in Fiji, to coalesce and exchange vast practical experiences, innovative ideas and knowledge that will modernize Fiji’s Agriculture Sector Development internationally competitive standards,” she said.
Acting Deputy Secretary Agriculture Development Mrs Miliakere Nawaikula.
President of FIAS shalendra Prasad with Principal Agriculture Central Ms Tepola Seniloli.
Participants and the organisers.
For further information please contact Principal Information Officer Ms. Reama Naco on phone 3383155/3237326 extension 361126 or email: