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Amount of local exported produce decline due to TC Gita

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 25/09/2019

The CEO of Agriculture Dr Viliami Manu says cassava, coconuts and Tongan kava roots are still suffering from the impacts of TC Gita last year and as a result the Ministry recorded a decline in the amount of exported produce and prices are high on the local markets.

CEO says before Gita made landfall the daily price of one bag of cassava was about 10 pa’anga but now due to the impacts, the new price has reached 20 pa’anga per bag.

The coconut and Tongan kava roots were impacted since the drought season in late 2015 to 2016 and were also badly affected by the cyclone.

Despite the impacts recorded and the decline in the amount of exported produce this year compared to previous years, the CEO says squash and vanilla beans are showing positive outcomes with hopeful they can reach the markets’ demands this year.

Dr Viliami Manu adds the vanilla beans from Vava’u is very popular to foreign markets, generating more income to the country.

The estimated cost of damage in the agricultural sector from Gita was 5.1 million pa’anga according to the figures shown on the Post Disaster rapid assessment by the Government of Tonga.

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