Promoting Nutritious Food Systems in the Pacific:
Tonga National Action Plan
The participatory creation of the National Action Plan during the Fiji Forum aims to provide tailor-made approaches in order to tackle specific in-country challenges and make use of opportunities at national level for agribusiness and value chain development.
The plan addresses four key themes:
1. NUTRITION: Reduction in NCDs and increased income from investments in local food crops and fisheries value chain development
- Impact Aim: A healthier Tonga and 5% annual growth in rural incomes
- Key Innovations / critical success factors: Government / political will; multi-stakeholder collaboration; enabling food and trade/import tax policies; farmers willing to increase production of traditional food crops; consumer acceptance “buy in” for more healthy nutrient dense Tongan foods.
2. FINANCE – Making farmers bank ready and banks farmer ready
- Impact Aim: Innovative financial products and increased access to finance for farmers/ SMEs (agro-based)
- Key Innovations / Critical Success Factors: Bank’s bundling of farming/SME loan products; farmers’ / SME commitment to loan repayment, farmers understanding of loan / financial products; favourable environment (business/weather); Mobile banking systems exist and are growing
3. ICT – Robust Communication System for Growers / SMEs
- Impact Aim: Increased knowledge on production levels; markets (market intelligence); climate, pests other related risks
- Key Innovations /Critical Success Factors: Multi-stakeholder partnerships (relevant public and private stakeholders); availability of IT experts/ expertise; availability of cost effective and user friendly ICT tools for farmers/SMEs
4. INSURANCE – Robust Insurance Package for Farmers
- Impact Aim: Build local capacity and enabling environment for the development and introduction of agricultural insurance products.
- Key Innovations/ Critical Success factors: Agricultural Census and detailed costings available to quantify the total crop value at risk; political will; Partnership of relevant stakeholders; Government’s political will; historical data available; Phone penetration above 60% and growing rapidly; farmers’ buy in, Funding
Each theme is addressed under the sections:
- Partners Involved
- Stakeholder Targeted
- Resources Required
- Method of Verification
ICTs are a key tool for development that benefit the agricultural and tourism sectors. We need to engage youths as the drivers of success. – Hon Siaosi Sovaleni, Member of Parliament & Chair of the ICT committee of the Kingdom of Tonga at the Regional Forum in Fiji
Development of value addition of traditional foods is very slow due to inadequate knowledge of appropriate technologies, poor infrastructure, inadequate facilities and lack of incentives and policies to support such activities. Strengthening public-private-producer partnerships, capacity building and prioritising and mainstreaming the development of food value chains in policies is the way forward. – Metuisela Falesiva, Deputy Director and Head of Food Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Forests & Fisheries, Kingdom of Tonga at the Regional Forum in Fiji