Agency calls on people to purchase, eat more local produce

National

Fresh Produce Development Agency (FPDA) general manager Mark Worinu has urged people to eat more locally-grown food such as kaukau (sweet potato) in plight of the country’s current financial situation.
“We just have to be really passionate about our indigenous crops,” he told The National.
“That’s the really key thing that we have forgotten about for a long time.
“We’re forgetting about our indigenous foods crops when they’re a fundamental component of our livelihood.
“We’ve been taking things for granted.
“Take for instance, kaukau and bananas, which are very important food crops. Everyone in jumping onto the rice bandwagon, and if we can’t stop this, it will be really bad for the country.
“As a Government agency, we feel that we really need to promote our indigenous food crops, which we are really serious about.”
Worinu said FPDA was involved in a K10 million kaukau project in partnership with the Australian government.
“Sweet potato now is a big project for us,” he said.
“It’s a K10 million project which the Australian government and us are promoting at the moment.
“We have to go out in a big way, creating awareness of the importance of kaukau. “Technology is being developed now, like pathogen-tested kaukau planting materials.
“This is very clean material which means that we will do away with pests and diseases.
“That’s being promoted up in the Highlands and will be expanded to other parts of the country.”

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