An impressive effort by the growers on the island with their fresh produce on show at the annual show day, but the day belonged to the women with Fine Alec of Alofi north taking out the title of Farmer of the Year, second year in a row. Second place is Leni Ioane from Mutalau and third place is Sabina Fakanaiki from Hakupu.
Every year the organisers the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries along with the Niue Growers Association select a crop to feature at the show day and this year the sweet potato or timala takes centre stage.
The competition as to who will grow the most varieties of sweet potato is taken out by Halafou ‘Sifi’ Mokalei of Tuapa with 13 different varieties. The ladies Pilena Motufoou from Alofi north taking second place with ten varieties and third place went to Leni Ioane from Mutalau with eight varieties of sweet potatoes.
The president of the Niue grower’s association Takili Talagi was very pleased with the improvement in participation from the villages this year.
Takili said that last year, only 7 villages participated by bringing their produce to the show but this year, he is very happy to see that all 14 villages have brought their produce to the show.
The competition for the best village displays is awarded to Hakupu, second is Mutalau and third place is Avatele. The small village of Toi is fourth, Alofi north is fifth and sixth place goes to Makefu.
A special prize for the display of his produce goes to Hila Tulevihi a resident of the Aged care facility of the Niuefoou hospital.
The organic farmers never fail to impress every year with their displays. This year there were some very big juicy tomatoes and fresh organic produce from the Niue organic farmers association (NIOFA).
The Minister of Natural Resources Hon. Mona Ainuu paid tribute to the late Sir Toke Talagi. Hon. Ainuu also to some of the farmers who passed on this year including Sam Tutogia Makatogia one of the founding members of the Niue market and Togiaafu Ioane one of the market vendors who with his wife Leni had in previous years won the title of best farmer of the year award for seven years.
Despite the lack of tourists on the island this year the crowds were not disappointed with the variety of items on display and the availability of food and drinks.
Every year the National council of women always in their colourful uniform showing their arts and crafts and impressive singing and dancing this year.
The Chamber of Commerce young entrepreneurs’ program for Niue High School students and the junior entrepreneurs from Niue Primary is always a crowd pleaser. This year the little ones made and sold craft pieces made out of the coconut. Favourites like the earrings and necklaces were sold out.
The day ended with the usual cultural sport of olo fua niu (bowling coconuts) and ta tika followed by more dancing and singing.