A total of 23 agro-business enterprises from Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu are implementing Innovation Grants of up to Euro 17,000 through the CTA/IFAD/PIPSO Innov4AgPacific Innovation Grant Facility (IGF). The grant is enabling the SMEs to access expertise, purchase small equipment, build staff capacity, improve product quality, expand product offerings, enhance process efficiency and increase market share.
By providing grant funds to the 23 Pacific SMEs to help them innovate in all aspects of their business from sourcing raw materials to processing and marketing, diversifying product range and gaining international certification, the Innov4AgPacific IGF is expected to:
- Expand opportunities for small-scale farmers-fishers
- Create jobs and new business opportunities and
- Diversify agro-based economies in the Pacific
Thereby the IGF aims to contribute to increased agricultural performance and improved incomes and nutrition outcomes.
The awardees of the first round of the IGF are:
(Scroll down to see the awardees of the second round)
Matei Farm Fresh Eggs: Chicken Manure Pellets
The first commercial fresh eggs producer in Taveuni Island in Fiji aims to develop a new product; chicken manure pellets as a supplement to NPK fertilizer to increase soil fertility and productivity targeting Dalo/Taro farmers.
Kuku and Nau’s Organic Farm: E-Commerce Operation with Full Product Traceability
An organic farm with fields on different islands with a total area of 210 ha aims to develop the first e-commerce agricultural shop as well as acquire HACCP certification for delivering Fiji grown food locally and internationally with product traceability system.
South Sea Orchids (SSO): Website/ Online Platform
SSO works with and supports women organisations and boasts of an integrated vertical supply chain that involves procurement from 100 local farmers. Orchids, anthuriums, ginger and heliconia flowers are sold as fresh cut flowers or pot plants. SSA aims to access marketing and technical support to expand product lines to increase demand for locally produced flowers. SSO Facebook Page.
Fiji Management Counsellors Association of Fiji: Build Capacity of Dalo and Yagona Farmers
FMCAF provides technical assistance to farming communities. Aims to apply the “whole family approach”; not only famers but their whole families (spouse, children, etc.) to provide training “Farming as a Business” and set-up of clusters of Dalo and Yaqona farmers. www.fmcaffiji.org
Fijika Natural Products: Coconut Virgin Oil and Noni Juice
Producer of virgin oil and noni juice from locally grown coconuts and kura. Aims to improve processing, quality and marketability of Coconut virgin oil and Noni juice in order to increase market visibility and demand for locally grown products www.fijika.com
Allied Print Design: Eco-retreat Farm
Garment manufacturing and other service provider is currently engaging into the establishment of eco retreat and farmstead on 10 acres of land to link agriculture and tourism.
Vitila Organic Farm: Organic Honey
A fully organic farm producing root crops, vegetable, and fruits has identified that the demand for honey is much higher than the supply in Fiji. Aims to increase honey production and processing and expand the range of honey based products.
Atoll Beauties: High Value Sea Cucumber Farming and Processing
Producer of giant clams which includes a hatchery, land-based nursery system, and ocean grow out systems in outer islands of Kiribati. The giant clam out farms are managed by the local communities. Aims to expand to other island communities in Kiribati and engage hundreds of farmers to engage in sustainable and commercial sea cucumber farming. www.kiribaticlams.com
Kiribati Organic Producers: Coconut Toddy Sugar
Processor and promoter of traditional use and benefits of organic coconut sap (toddy) to replace natural and artificial sweeteners. Aim istrain toddy collectors, acquire small equipment and organic certification and standardize product quality.
E-Life: Organic Tumeric and Ginger Products
Samoa producer of wild organic turmeric drink. Aims to expand production of organic turmeric and ginger and develop new products. E-Life Facebook page
Tupaghotua Cocoa Plantation (TCP): Cocoa Production and Quality
Started with 3 ha in 2003 and increased to 255 ha by 2016. TCP 300 cocoa farmers; 70% of whom are women and youth are organized into a network. It received the Women’s Economic Empowerment Award from the Central Bank of Solomon Islands in 2015. The aim is to conduct training in managing cocoa farms, integrated pest and disease management, cocoa drying techniques, food quality and safety, sustainable supply, etc.
South Pacific Mozuku: Sustainable Mozuku (Seaweed) Farming
The company attributes the decrease in the wild natural Mozuku (seaweed), to overharvesting and climate change (e.g. in 2016, natural stocks were insufficient for harvesting due to extremely cold water temperatures). Securing consistent supplies of Mozuku is a priority to meet local and export demand. Aims to train coastal communities managing SMA to regenerate growth of wild seaweed through natural sporulation and improve harvesting.
Lapita Café: Nangai Nut and Manioc Flour
The company processes local food crops and uses only natural and organic ingredients which are sourced from 1225 farmers. It has set an ambitious goal of doubling its production annually. It aims to improve the quality and marketability of Nangai Nut, Manioc Flour and other products and create additional market demand; locally and internationally. Lapita Café Facebook Page.
Timakata & Associates: Community Organic Mariculture for Sea Cucumber and Sea Urchins
This company has encouraged the development of Emae island’s organic agricultural production, since the organic declaration of the island in 2016, which led 290 local farmers to successfully plant and harvest various organic root crops (yam, cassava, taro and kumala) for food security and sale at the urban market in Port Vila. It aims to set up a community fishery and marine resource hatchery to spawn sea cucumbers and sea urchins and put to naturally grow-out in the wild.
Gaston Chocolat: New Local Cocoa Products
Chocolate company that uses locally sourced cocoa beans from 238 farmers to produce a range of chocolate product aims to develop new products with various flavours using additional locally grown and sourced ingredients (e.g. nangae and coconuts). www.gastonchocolat.com
second round of the IGF are:
Bula Batiki: Capacity Building and Product Development
Bula Batiki is a community-owned business that produces organic virgin coconut oil on the remote island of Batiki, Fiji. It is a registered Association, with 45 household members representing more than 300 villagers. Grant funds will be used for business skills training, expanding the product line to include e.g. coconut flour and vinegar, among other activities. www.bulabatiki.com
Nature’s Way Cooperative: Enhancing Fiji Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Export Industry through ICTs
Nature ‘s Way Cooperative (NWC) (Fiji) Ltd was established in 1995 to carry out mandatory quarantine treatment on Fijian fruit and vegetables under the Bilateral Quarantine Agreement (BQA) established with importing countries. NWC provided treatment, grading, packing and technical services to both its exporter and grower members. Grant funds will be used to introduce a more efficient digital traceback system for export commodities among other activities. www.nwcfiji.com
Hydroscape Pacific Ltd.: Rural Upland Farming Inclusive Growth
Hydroscape Pacific Limited is a research and development (R&D) company that provides technical consultancy services. Grant funds will be used to commission a feasibility study to expand its range of services. www.joesfarmproduce.com
Solo’s Agro Company Ltd.: Producing Nutritious Vegetables in Fiji
Solo’s Agro Company Ltd. provides part-time employment to youth and women in the area of Waibau and has relationships with 32 farms. Grant funds will be used to diversify production to include vegetables and flowers and increase employment for women and youth.
Te Maeu Projects: Te Maeu Hydroponics
Ta Maeu promotes, sells, installs and trains local families on the use of solar powered hydroponics systems. Grant funds will be used to research and develop a local fertilizer as well as promote and expand the business to impact more farm families. www.temaeuprojects.org
Aruligho Areatakiki Fresh Produce: AAFP Fisheries Project
AAFP has been engaged in smallholder farming of vegetables, root crops and fruits in the Guadalcanal Province and partners with up to thirty-four (34) other smallholder rural farming households in the surrounding villages. Grant funds will be used to expand and diversify the company’s product offerings to include the provision of standardised quality fish products that are safe for human consumption.
Jedom Organic Fruits: Training on Pacific Organic Standards, Product Development and Mentoring Support
Jedom processes local nuts, fruits and selected root crops. Grant funds will be used to introduce Pacific Organic Standards and support local farming organizations to meet organic certification requirements while building strong and competitive value chains.
Fine Foods Ltd.: Forging Functional Foods Innovation for Farmers
Fine Foods Ltd is an open service food processing and product development facility and has its own Sowers and Growers network of 700 + suppliers. Grant funding will be used to commission CAD drawings (compliant with food safety, earthquake and cyclone codes) for the expansion of its facility. www.finefoods.vu