Thursday, 10 February 2022, Suva Fiji: The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) Secretariat and the Tavioka Growers Association (TGA), today formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate with each other on matters of common interest within the scope of the general objectives of their respective organizations.
The Secretary General, Ambassador Solo Mara endorsed the MoU on behalf of the PIDF, while Mr. Taito Tabeleka, Chairman of Tavioka Growers PTE Limited (TGL), signed on behalf of TGA.
“PIDF is indeed privileged to be part of this new partnership with TGA to contribute towards the improvement of farmers livelihood by providing to the Association its technical expertise and advisory and therefore allow the association realize its objectives and socio-economic development for its members,” said Ambassador Mara.
Mr Tabaleka also shared similar sentiments and expressed the Associations heartful gratitude to PIDF of this partnership.
“As I have mentioned in our previous meetings leading to this important event, this is a 50 year journey for the association. It is noted that 31% of Fiji’s population reside in rural areas and this association was established and motivated under the backdrop to elevate the economic power of rural people with a crop (cassava/Tavioka) already familiar to them,” said Mr Tabaleka.
Mr Tabaleka further mentioned the Associations future plan is to work toward fully organic certified crop and its by-products which is both healthier for consumers as well as for the environment.
TGA promotes the growth and expansion of what is a common and popular agricultural crop in Fiji, one that offers a healthy food alternative for consumers in both the local and export markets. Their vision is to develop a billion dollar gluten-free Tavioka flour industry, where Fijians are invited to grow more tavioka, and also have the options to become owners, if they so wish, of the value adding processing company. Tavioka ticks may boxes when it comes to financial security, health security and food security.