Comin soon: Pacific Week of Agriculture

Avneel Abishay


It is a week after the CWA2016 Cayman, and if you have been following #CWA2016Cayman then thank you!

Even a week after the event the voices of the speakers echoes in my head as I look forward to Pacific’s first ever Pacific week of Agriculture (PWA, self-made acronym) to be held in Vanuatu next year.

Whether or not I get selected to be a Social Media Reporter for the PWA2017 Vanuatu is one thing.

Delegates from Fiji who are preparing for the PWA gathered in Cayman and that too for a very good reason.

CWA2016 gave some real goals and ideas for the partnering organisations to achieve.

Here are two things that were at CWA2016 and I am looking forward to in PWA2017:

1: Trade Linkages within Pacific

The Pacific has the advantage of two hubs unlike the Caribbean, the only thing left is now to connect every Pacific nation for strengthening trade relations.

There are some nations that don’t have an airport, countries like Tokelau. While getting to places like Tuvalu and Kiribati from Fiji can be ridiculously expensive.

It is actually cheaper to fly from Nadi, Fiji to Auckland New Zealand or even Singapore than to fly to countries like  Tuvalu, Tonga, and Kiribati to name a few.

It truly will be an exciting meeting between various logistics companies, airlines which have regional influence such as Fiji Airways, Air New Zealand, and Air Niugini should be present to meet entrepreneurs.

You might be thinking why am I calling on airlines? As a matter of fact there are no logistics companies in our countries. For instance we have DHL shipping agents but they use Fiji Airways or other airlines to transport goods.

It will also be interesting to note whether these airlines beat the price on cargo when compared to branded logistics companies.

 2. Climate Resilience

 Cyclones in the Pacific are some of the deadliest, and destructive. Fiji itself saw a major cyclone, Cyclone Winston which killed about 50 people in total, and displaced thousands who are still picking up the pieces.

What happened after that is undoubtedly price of goods going up. A bundle of bananas in Fiji cost up to $15 US even 10 months after the mega storm hit our country.

I am keen on learning some hacks for farmers for a quicker response to natural disasters.

The stakeholders that I would like to bring together at PWA are insurance companies and entrepreneurs to explore options available for farmers, and if there aren’t any then why not?

While PWA2017 may be months away it is still worth discussing and letting the organisers know the expectations of youths.

If you agree or disagree with my views let me know via the comments section, or reach out to me on twitter @JustAvneel.


Copyright © 2016, CTA. Technical Centre for Rural and Agricultural Cooperation

CTA is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.