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Growers need to better understand the importance of contract farming.

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 27/09/2017


An agreement will become valid only, when it is signed by the parties involved.


A FAO workshop to deal with the importance of how Farming contracts are made and implemented began today at Dr Moulton’s hall in Nuku’alofa.


The workshop is part of FAO’s regional program in value chain development.


FAO has been promoting responsible contract farming through field and global work.


It is to build the capacity of farmers, government agricultural officers and Non-government organisations NGO’s.


The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Honorable Semisi Fakahau describes the importance of the relationship between farmers and buyers.


“Agreement between farmers and buyers for production and supply of agricultural products under forward agreements frequently and predetermined prices. The arrangement also invariably involves the buyer in providing a decree of productions support through for example, the supply of inputs and the provision of technical advice. The basics of such arrangement is a commitment on the part of the farmer to provide a specific commodity in quantities and qualities standards determined by the buyer and a commitment on the part of the company or buyers to support the farmer’s production and buy the commodity.”


He then gave a brief history into the beginning of contract farming in Tonga that were considered invalid since they were not signed. The first Contract Farming was made at Vava’u involving vanilla, the first crop produced.


“The concept of contract farming has started in Tonga in the mid 1980’s with the squash industry. However, there was no signed contract between the growers and the exporters. The normal practice was for growers to register with exporters with mutual understanding that the grower will grow a certain acre to be sold to the exporter. In return, the exporter will assist the farmer inputs secure the market with a set price for the growers. 2013 was the beginning of an improved practice on CF where a contract was signed by an exporter and a grower for production selling and exporting of vanilla.”


Fakahau also says that from this, it is therefore clear that we need contract farming in Tonga for it will provide better and more profitable linkages for us to the international markets.


Attending this workshop was the FAO Representative for Samoa, the Acting CEO of the Ministry of Agriculture, exporters as well as NGO’s.


The workshop will end this Friday.


© Radio and Television Tonga News