A considerable proportion of fruits and vegetables used by the Tourism industry are imported when items cannot be sourced locally. Many fruit and vegetables in Fiji are grown seasonally, typically only six months during the year. If the period of production is extended, there is potential for supplying locally grown produce to the Tourism industry more consistently. As weather patterns, particularly in the rainy season, limit farmers from growing year-round, introducing protected cropping techniques such as hydroponics is a solution to this constraint.
MDF has partnered with Tripeak Farms, one of the leading companies in Fiji with experience in growing fruits and vegetables using hydroponic growing methods. Tripeak Farms works closely with hotel and resorts to identify, experiment and commercially supply exotic varieties of lettuce and herbs for use in its restaurant kitchens. MDF’s partnership with Tripeak Farms involves upgrading its production capacity to produce new varieties, as well as assist in the setup of low-cost hydroponic systems among village and individual outgrowers. Bringing low-cost hydroponic systems to rural farmers will allow them produce year-round and access the high-value tourism market – increasing their incomes. By increasing the supply of produce from specialist local growers like Tripeak Farms and its network of outgrowers, the tourism sector is presented with viable locally grown alternatives to purchasing imported produce.
Media: Hydroponics The Way To Go