Fiji Agritourism Policy Setting Workshop 2018

Policy setting for improved linkages between agriculture, trade and tourism:
Strengthening the local agrifood sector and promoting healthy food in agritourism

Workshop organised by the Government of Fiji
In collaboration with the Pacific Community, CTA, PIPSO and SPTO

 Nadi,  23 February 2018 
Suva, 26 February 2018 

Background

Tourism is the lifeblood of many Pacific economies and agritourism provides a promising avenue for diversification and trade growth. High quality, nutritious and healthy food, available every day of the year, is critical to hotels, lodges and resorts. Often the food-purchasing bill of a tourism site is large in comparison to the size of the local economy, yet surprisingly little of this is spent locally, even when supplies are available from farmers, fishermen and small-scale agribusinesses. The challenges of shifting food-sourcing to local suppliers are considerable – achieving this in a way that meets commercial needs and customer preferences, and meets food and safety requirements, would be one way in which tourism operations can significantly increase their contribution to local economic development.

Fiji has 40% of the market share in the Pacific Tourism market and it is the biggest tourist destination. Tourist arrivals is almost hitting the one million mark. It has natural and cultural potential to develop its tourist market further by diversifying its tourism policy and strengthening its linkages with the agriculture industry. This will increase resilience of food systems and incomes for rural communities. A policy on agritourism will also develop linkages with the health sector ensuring that it supports national campaigns towards nutritious and healthy food (embedded in the concept of quality food referred above).

Agriculture is one of Fiji’s key economic sectors and contributes around 28% of total employment in the formal sector, and indirectly employs many more. This sector, which was once a major stronghold of Fiji’s economy, is the third largest now, contributing $451 million (9%) annually to the nations GDP. Sugarcane, which used to dominate the sector now only contributes (0.9%) and has been surpassed by other crops, horticulture, and livestock production and subsistence sector.

While Fiji’s agriculture and tourism are the two key sectors in the economy, survey carried shows that a lot of food used in the Tourism industry are still imported. Martin (2011) highlighted that the Fiji Visitors Bureau identified 343 hotels, hostels and resorts in Fiji. Young and Vinning (2007) estimated that at present, 80% of fruits and vegetables consumed by the tourism sector are imported. In 2006, the Fiji tourism industry imported FJ$35 million in vegetables alone. (Loze and Low 2008) This is despite the fact that local vegetables are cheaper than imported ones during the middle winter months of the year.

Goal: To promote sustainable use of local food by the tourism industry through strengthened intersectoral policies.

 Objectives:

  • To promote linkages between the agrifood sector and the tourism industry to increase sustainable local sourcing through a developed agritourism policy in Fiji
  • To increase the understanding and awareness of the current deficiencies in the supply of produce along the value chain and the actions needed
  • To design inter-sectoral and inclusive policies which promote PPPs for improved local food use and consumption.
  • To identify concrete projects that can be supported under the intra ACP EU funding.
  • To contribute to the Pacific regional agritourism strategy.

In view of the importance of the tourism and agriculture sector in Fiji and the number of public and private players in the ground, we will held two consultative meetings in Nadi and Suva.


Background Note & Programme Nadi and Suva
Highlights
Photos (coming soon)

Resources

  • Fiji 5-Year & 20-Year National Development Plan [pdf]
  • Ministry of Industry, Trade & Tourism FIJIAN TOURISM 2021 [pdf]
  • Travel & tourism economic impact 2017 – Fiji [pdf]
  • Fiji – Travel and Tourism [link]
  • Fiji – Agricultural Sector [link]
  • South Pacific Tourism Organisation Annual Review of Tourist Arrivals in Pacific Island Countries in 2016 [pdf]
  • Overview of three Agritourism Events in the Pacific [pdf]

Nadi, Fiji, 23rd February 2018
PROGRAMME

8h30-9h00    Registration

9h00-9h30     Welcome
Mereia Volavola, Expert Agribusiness, on behalf of CTA, SPC, PIPSO and SPTO

This session will set the scene on the opportunities that the tourism sector can bring and the needed linkages with other sectors such as agriculture and trade. It will look at successful models in other parts of the world and what could of interest to Fiji agritourism policy. For each panel, speakers will have 15 minutes to present. One hour will be used for interactive discussions, questions and recommendations by participants

9h30-10h00: Setting the scene: Agritourism Policy for Fiji – Benefits and Opportunities
Vatimi Rayawa, – Chief Economist, Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji  [presentation]

10h00 -10h30: Morning Tea and Group Photo

10h30 -11h30: High-level Panel: Promoting agriculture and tourism linkages
This panel discussion will discuss, identify opportunities and deliberate on how market linkages can be enhanced with respective sectors both at policy level and sector level.

Moderator: Vili Caniogo, SPC

– International Tourists Expectation and opportunities for Agritourism
Eroni Puamau General Manager, Rosie Tours Ltd  [presentation]

– Value Chain Supply Development for Agritourism – What needs to be done?
Lavinia Kaumaitotoya, Project Manager, PIFON  

11h30-12h00: Chefs for Development: the link between agriculture & cuisine
This session will look at the role of chefs and the hospitality sector in stimulating demand of local products and its use by chefs. It will share experiences from other regions.

Moderator: Kelera Cavuilati, SPTO

– Flavours of Fiji Limited
Malisa Raffe  

– Loving Islands
Litia Kirwin  

12h00 -13h00: Group Discussions – identification of Areas required for development and support

13h00-14h00: Lunch

14h00 – 15h00: Panel Discussion on Product Development, Value Adding and Branding
This session will discuss key areas to promote quality product development and branding quality for the tourism-markets and will present specific examples of success.

Moderator: Mereia Volavola

– Nama Fiji – Building and Branding Niche Tourism Products; Challenges and Opportunities
Debra Senikai, Senikai Spas  [presentation]

– Supporting Niche Products from Women Farmers
Aileen Burness, Founder Floriculture Support Association 

– A new Agritourism initiative – farm to table concept
Laisa Digitaki and Sitiveni Weleilakeba  [presentation]

15h00 -15h30 Afternoon Tea

15h30 -16h30: Group Discussions – Identification of action plans to support the areas for development and support to strengthen the linkages of agritourism
Conclusion—Moderator provides concluding remarks focusing on agreed future actions for further deliberations at Suva Workshop on 26th February, 2018.

Suva, 26th February 2018
PROGRAMME

8h30-9h00      Registration

9h00-9h30     Opening Address
Ms Fantasha Lockington (Fiji Islands Hotel and Tourism Association – FIHTA)  [presentation]
This session will set the scene on the opportunities that the tourism sector can bring and the needed linkages with other sectors such as agriculture and trade. It will look at successful models in other parts of the world and what could of interest to Fiji agritourism policy.

9h30-10h00: Setting the scene: Conclusions and recommended Actions from the Nadi Agritourism Workshop
Presenter: Mereia Volavola – Expert Agribusiness

10h00-10h30: Morning Tea and Group Photo

10h30-12h00: Panel Discussions: Opportunities and Challenges of Agritourism and Impact to Rural Development
This panel discussion will discuss, identify opportunities and deliberate on how agritouristm can impact rural development. What opportunities does it offer the rural economy and what actions needs to be undertaken.

Moderator: Alisi Tuqa, PIPSO

– Agribusiness and Fisheries Development for the Women in the Lomaiviti Province
Sereana Qoro, President, Lomaiviti Provincial Women Association  [presentation]

– Development Challenges of Rural Women and Solutions
Emelia Duituturaga, PIANGO Executive Director 

– Support required for Farmers and Livestock Farm
Jiu Daunivalu, Fiji Crops and Livestock Council 

12h00-13h00: Group Discussions
This session will discuss, deliberate on the key outputs from the Nadi Workshop and identify of key agritourism strategy

13h00-14h00: Lunch

14h00-15h00: Chefs for Development: the link between agriculture & cuisine
This session will look at the role of chefs and the hospitality sector in stimulating demand of local products and its use by chefs. It will share experiences from other regions. 15 minutes for presentation by each speaker. Half hour will be used for interactive discussions and questions and recommendations by participants

Moderator: Vili Caniogo, SPC

– Lessons and Opportunities: Areas that needs to be developed to build the agritourism sector in Fiji
Kelera Cavuilati of SPTO [presentation]

– Agritourism linkages and the potential for import substitution.
Dawn Gibson,Senior Lecturer-School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (USP)  [presentation]

– Optimising Rural Development
Richard Beyer, Consultant  

15h00 -16h00 Group discussion on action plans on key strategies identified.
Group presentations

Conclusion — Moderator provides concluding remarks focusing on agreed future action