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Royal Agriculture Show to be postponed in light of coronavirus pandemic

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 24/03/2020

The Ministry of Agriculture has submitted a proposal to Cabinet to postpone this year’s Royal Agricultural Show due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The CEO of the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Viliami Manu says, the concern behind this proposal is the health of the people as Tonga is taking measures to prevent the importation and spread of the coronavirus.

Dr. Manu says the budget that was allocated for this year’s Royal Agricultural Show, will be used instead for activities to strengthen the local produce – which will be needed for food security, as the borders are closed for 2 weeks.

With predictions made for the whole year, the Ministry is unsure what Tonga will face over the next few months with its current supplies and therefore, Dr. Viliami Manu urged the public to invest in livestock and local agriculture products to ensure they have food.

Dr. Viliami Manu also highlighted the importance for the public to be less reliant on imported meat products but rather make use of this time to plant more crops in preparation for the future due to the spreading pandemic.

The Royal Agriculture Show was expected to be opened by His Majesty the Kinga at ‘Eua before the annual church conference of the Free Wesleyan Church, in June.

© Radio and Television Tonga News