An agreement between the government of Niue and the Australia and the New Zealand funded programme on Pacific Horticultural and market access plus program (PHARMA plus) aims to facilitate trade of agricultural produce and support development opportunities through the Pacer Plus trade agreement.
This is good news for taro growers on the island given the increase in exports to both New Zealand and Australia in the past year.
The partnership was launched at the National show day last month and is expected to provide benefits to the private sector through improved trade opportunities with Australia and NZ.
Some of the focus areas where technical assistance is available include biosecurity, trade, production, market access pathways, quality assurance, and standards.
Minister of Finance and Trade Hon. Crossley Tatui says that ‘This partnership from PHARMA plus will translate into many positive opportunities for us as a country. We will be able to develop and strengthen our private sector, which is critical to our economic recovery efforts amid COVID 19. The future looks promising for our community of growers and exporters with the support provided by programs like PHARMA plus”.
In recent years, the largest exports from Niue were Honey and Nonu products however according to government sources, since the Covid pandemic nearly two years ago, they have noticed a substantial drop in the export of honey and nonu.
The good news is that taro, yams, coconuts and cassava have taken over as the largest export commodities since last year.
Minister of Natural Resources and DAFF Hon. Mona Ainuu in a statement said that she is grateful for PHARMA Plus to assist with market access opportunities for potential agricultural products going forward.
PHARMA plus delivers similar trade facilitation activities in other Pacific countries like Fiji, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, Cook Islands and Kiribati.
The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus is a trade and development agreement that came into force in December 2020. Eight countries are parties to the agreement, Australia, Cook Islands, Kiribati, New Zealand, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga.