HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Organic farming taking centre stage in Tahiti
In Tahiti on Thursday, Associate Minister for Agriculture Hon Kiriau Turepu and Secretary for Agriculture Anthony Brown will commence the first day of a full week of meetings on the important topic of organics.
Brown told the Herald on Tuesday morning that at the invitation of the President of Tahiti Nui Oscar Temaru, they will be attending the Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community (POET-com) meeting.
The event is supported by FONDS PACIFIQUE of the French Republic and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and representatives from Pacific Forum nations are also attending.
According to Brown, the main objectives of the meeting are to;
- Review the findings of the FAO Technical Co-operation Project and country update (15 minutes allotted to each country to present their updates),
- -Finalise the governance structure for POET Com including election and appointment of the first Board of Directors,
- -Progress key issues and endorse the way forward for developing the Pacific Organic Guarantee System,
- -Build capacity in organic key advocacy areas of climate change, food and nutritional security and biodiversity in order to technically support our leaders for a unified agreement at their next summit (Pacific Leaders meeting in Rarotonga),
- -Discuss trade within the Pacific area for some of the organic products,
There will be an agricultural tour on the Sunday to visit organic farms followed by an organic dinner with local authorities and professionals.
Associate Minister Hon Kiriau Turepu is very keen to learn and discover this shift in paradigm for sustainable agriculture, something he says is vital given the environmental sensitivities and the alarming rate of pest and diseases experienced with farming.
“There has got to be an alternative, and I as Associate Minister of Agriculture will visit organic farms in Tahiti where the farming conditions are very similar but the results are very different,” said Turepu, “If sustainable agriculture results in affordable, better production yields and returns on investments for the farmer and at the same time enhancing our environment where we farm, then we must go this way.”
Teava Iro of the Titikaveka Growers Association is a member of the Organics Taskforce and he will also be attending as a guest lecturer on the relationship between agriculture and the environment. - Charles Pitt

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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