Tutu Rural Training Centre participants’ progress stories

Tutu Rural Training Centre participants’ progress stories

Mr Ilimo Nawaibalavu:

Mr. Ilimo is a graduate from the Young Farmers Course in the year 2007. Upon graduating from the young farmer’s course Ilimo managed to build a three-bedroom from the money from his Tutu farm as well as his home farm. Ilimo is married to Losalini Qatea. After graduation, he was left to continue with his farming business without any monitoring and the responsibility of a family gave him the urge to continue his farming business sustainably.

2007 graduate Mr Ilimo Nawaiblavu in his home

Ms Mereani Teresia:

Mereani Teresia is from the village of Salia in the province of Cakaudrove, she is a former graduate of the 2019 single women’s course. Upon graduation Mereani managed to purchase an electric sewing machine from the money she earned from her sales of vegetables and other skills like jewelry making, screen printing, sewing and traditional handicraft. Today Mereani continues her sewing and runs her small micro enterprise where she sells to the local community members

Mereani Teresia operating her small micro enterprise

Mr Waisele Lomaoso:

Mr Waisale is a current participant in our young farmers’ program and is from the village of Nukubolu from the province of Cakaudrove. Mr Lomaoso is currently on home program and continues on with the building of his three bedroom house and is nearly in completion. Mr Lomaoso only have primary education and resorted back to village life before completing his primary education.Mr Lomaoso currently works on his goal of completing his three bedroom house and is integrating sustainable farming practices at his home farm

Mr. Lomaoso infront of his house being built

TRTC Breadfruit Development

TRTC Breadfruit Development

Recently on the 7th of May 2021, the Tutu Rural Training Centre held its breadfruit symposium. The aim of the symposium is to empower farmers on alternative cropping for sustainable farming practices, mapping out the value chain from the field to the dish. The symposium mainly focused on the value addition of breadfruit for a crop that is totally a waste but to make it more resourceful. Most of the discussion is based on the commercialization of breadfruit at the same time awareness of market demand for a gluten-free product.

The Tutu Rural Training Centre’s ongoing involvement in the development of breadfruit as a commodity continues to open up doors for a bright future. With TRTC working together with the Pacific Breadfruit project (via PIFON) we have discovered that for the future, there are major opportunities in supplying processed breadfruit products to export markets. These markets are divided into two broad segments: the gluten/grain-free product market, and the market based on processing advantages potentially offered by breadfruit. However, for these markets to be realized, raw material supply constraints have to be overcome and there needs to be a substantial capital investment and private sector involvement. Farmers are being encouraged to look at the opportunities that arise from the development of breadfruit as a commodity within the local economy and at the same time increase our awareness of its health benefits as a staple food.

A particular opportunity is the development of breadfruit into breadfruit flour as a substitute for imported grains, particularly wheat flour. Today our large domestic market is foreseen as been highly driven by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) with our health concerns together with the future impact of climate increasing the relative price of imported grains. The market opportunities for breadfruit created by health and nutrition considerations have seen that our diet here in Fiji has undergone a nutrition transition, especially on our locally grown food to those primarily based on processed, imported, foods. Our current diets are generally considered as nutritionally-inferior to traditional diets. This has been a major contributor to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which are now prevalent throughout the Fiji region.

The Tutu breadfruit symposium concludes with a finding that a substantial increase in breadfruit consumption can make a significant contribution to the reduction of NCDs and thus have large social and economic benefits for our economy. The recent display of value-added products from breadfruit flours opens up doors for new development.