‘Organic island’ – Konrote launches Rotuma’s organic accreditation

President Jioje Konrote and the First Lady with attending dignitaries cut the celebration cake to mark the launch. Picture: SUPPLIED

The President Major General (retired) Jioje Konousi Konrote launched the Accreditation of Organic Rotuma and the Rotuman publication ‘Rak La Faeag Rotuam’ at a luncheon event at Suva’s Holiday Inn on Thursday.

Supported by the iTaukei Trust Fund Board (TTFB), the book Rak La Faeag Rotuam is authored by retired teacher and educator Fauoro Titifanue, who has been a language teacher for almost 40 years.

Mrs Titifanue teaches and shares her love for her mothertongue as a hobby.

The book will be available for sale via the iTaukei Trust Fund Board’s website or via the Shop- Online purchasing platform.

This is primarily for Rotuman diaspora communities around the globe wanting to learn and share their mother-tongue.

Organic Rotuma journey

According to the TTFB, in 2011, the Council of Rotuma endorsed a proposal to ban the use of chemicals on farms which would actually come into effect by the first quarter of the following year, which allowed farmers to use up
any leftover stock and by 2012, farmers were encouraged to stop the use of chemical herbicides.

In 2020 a scoping exercise and needs assessment was carried out by a team from the TTFB, in consultation and collaboration with the Council of Rotuma and relevant government departments whereby the outcomes from this visit helped develop the groundwork for organic certification of the island of Rotuma.

In March this year a workshop was held on the island with the objective to start certifying land lots around the island and gradually expand allowing development stakeholders to properly manage waste in order to comply with the organic standards towards PGS certification for the whole island.

According to TTFB key towards this certification process was to conduct the PGS which covered all facets of the organic process.

“The visiting SPC technical team, in their ground survey, brought back to Viti Levu a total of eleven files on farms for evaluation.

“Of this, nine farms satisfied the standards for organic land certification and thus, were eligible for organic registration.

“This then led to the certification of the brand ‘Organic Rotuma’.

“In their findings, Rotuma has the potential to engage in organic pollinated seed production for business,” it said.

More discussions with the Council of Rotuma are expected in the areas of identifying the organic product to start off with including possible healthy value adding products.

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