The Vinaka Farm business sealed a partnership with the Australian government to support Fiji's ginger industry so that more Fijian farmers can tap into the under supplied certified organic ginger market and earn premium prices.
The strategic collaboration between Australia’s Market Development Facility and Vinaka Farm was formalised at their new pack house in Vakabalea, Navua, with representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Navua Women Farmers Association also present.
Vinaka Farm's Director, Lily Liu, says this collaboration has come at an ideal time as it will provide them with the support and resources to ensure quality control throughout the organic ginger supply chain. She says by working together, they can increase the volumes of Fijian ginger entering premium markets like Australia and, in turn, boost the economy and improve livelihoods for Fijian farmers.
In the first half of this year, Fiji exported $9.2 million worth of ginger, of which fresh ginger accounted for $350,000.
Currently, Australia is Fiji’s top export destination for whole fresh ginger.
According to Liu, with the correct inputs and training, the quality of Fijian ginger will increase and in turn, drive higher overseas demand.
She says in 2022, they exported 25 tonnes of fresh ginger to Australia after meeting the Ministry of Agriculture and Australian biosecurity requirements and it is anticipated that exports will reach 200 tonnes this year.
The MDF will support Vinaka Farm with several initiatives, including providing its farmers with training on how to farm ginger on a commercial scale and maintaining the documentation required for organic certification.
They will also support community engagement activities to help Vinaka Farm strengthen and sustain long-term business relationships with community farming networks.
During the partnership signing, the Australian High Commission’s First Secretary, Susannah Hodson, expressed Australia's support for the partnership, emphasising its alignment with Australia's commitment to fostering sustainable economic development in the Pacific region.
She says they are pleased to launch this important partnership, which supports farmer innovation, trade and rural livelihoods.
Hodson says they have heard from the Fiji Government and industry about the strong interest in growing Fijian ginger exports to Australia, and they continue to listen and look for practical ways to support market access to high-quality Fijian ginger exports and value-added products.
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