Strengthening intersectoral linkages between agriculture and tourism for a more resilient economy
A two-day workshop that brings together Fiji’s tourism and agriculture sectors took place in Nadi on Friday, February 23rd followed by Suva on Monday, February 26th 2018. The Agritourism Policy Setting Workshop was organised by the Government of Fiji in collaboration with the Pacific Community (SPC), the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) and the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO).
This event takes Fiji one step closer towards the development of a national Agritourism Policy, as the country has already shown enthusiasm towards developing stronger linkages between the two sectors. The programme for the two workshops aimed to identify potential benefits for other sectors, including trade and health. Altogether, the event aimed to improve intersectoral cooperation, policy dialogue and business partnerships that will strengthen the resilience of Fiji’s economy by promoting local sourcing of agricultural goods, stimulating value addition and productivity in the agricultural sector, and encouraging diversification of Fiji’s tourism offering towards gastronomic tourism and agritourism.
Tourism is the leading sector in Fiji’s economy, and its continued growth is recognised as an important opportunity for the development Fiji’s key industries, notably agriculture and fisheries. Tourism provides direct employment to an estimated 40,000 people and to 116,500 indirectly. In 2016, gross earnings from tourism in were recorded at $798 million, increasing to an estimated $830.7 million in 2017. By contrast, agriculture’s contribution to Fiji’s economy has decreased over the last decades, and productivity has been unable to keep up with demand, resulting in average annual food import bill of $778 million. This is despite Fiji’s favourable climate and conditions that permit it to grow a broad variety of fruit and vegetables as well as livestock production.
Food imports are especially high in the tourism industry, which depends on a consistent supply of high quality and volumes in order to feed the thousands of visitors to Fiji’s islands every year. The Agritourism Policy Setting workshop brought together all key stakeholders in the agriculture, tourism, trade and health sectors, including government ministries, agribusinesses, agro-producers, chefs, farmers’ organisations and technical organisations, with the aim of developing further linkages between agriculture, trade and tourism sectors to support local businesses in serving tourism-related markets in the Fiji. They shared their knowledge and develop recommendations towards a number of objectives, including addressing specific challenges in the domestic supply chain, identifying concrete projects that can help overcome these, and contributing to the Pacific regional agritourism strategy.
This workshop built on the positive experience of Vanuatu, Samoa and the Solomon Islands, where the national governments, together with CTA and partners, also organised successful Agritourism Policy Setting Workshops in 2016 and 2017.
For more information, including the programme and resources, visit: https://wp.me/P5hll-2A2