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Welcome to Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network

September 2017

The Tutu Rural Training Centre in Fiji - converting breadfruit and other locally grown fruit and vegetables into nutritious and delicious processed food

To facilitate Tutu’s transition to breadfruit processing, technical assistance and training has been provided by the eminent food technologist Dr Richard Beyer. This has involved a partnership with the Pacific Islands Farmers Organization Network (PIFON), of which Tutu is a foundation member.
Dr Beyer delivered his first agro processing training in September 2017. Following a week of intensive “hands on” training, 14 new “food scientists” emerged from amongst Tutu staff. Using the excellent facilities provided by the Training Centre a whole spectrum of locally grown fruits and vegetable were transformed into food products some of which are of international standard.
Dr Beyer in his report to PIFON following the Tutu training noted: Excitement was generated when new equipment, funded through PIFON, was commissioned to produce breadfruit flour in large quantities. This is used for partial replacement of flour in baking but will eventually find use as a thickener in a range of future products. Simple demonstrations of jam, chutney and pickle making saw delegates sprint out of the starting blocks to mass produce preserves, chips, chutneys and sauces of all flavours. Not only do these items make good use of fruits and vegetables previously going to waste, transformed into products, they will compete against imported ‘junk,’ drinks and snacks. Those made out of local crops have a much higher nutritional value. Exciting sauces and chutneys made from Tutu’s tomatoes, papaya, chillies will add much excitement to the usual dalo, cassava and vudi and will ensure that important nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin A and fibre are added to diets. Cordials and juices have been made entirely from local crops. Such is the interest that there is much anticipation that these wonderful products will eclipse such dietary demons as two minute noodles and the cola range of drinks.
                      

Image 1: State of the art peeler used at Tutu for breadfruit

Image 2: Processing dried chips into breadfruit flour

                     

Image 3: Delicious and nutritious breadfruit bakery products made from breadfruit at Tutu

Image 4: Twenty eight new processed products made from locally grown fruit and vegetables at Tutu in just four days

         
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PIFON to participate in 3rd Regional Steering Committee meeting in Ahmedabad, India

The Regional Steering Committee (RSC) of the Medium Term Cooperation Program Phase 2 (MTCP 2) consisting of farmer organisations (FOs) and donor partners will hold its 3rd meeting at Ahmedabad in India from October 6 – 9, 2017. The important meeting is conducted to reflect on the challenges, celebrate the gains and address bottlenecks/weaknesses of the programme to ensure the smallholder FOs are strengthened towards improving their services to its members to increase their income and ensure food security in the Asia-Pacific region. The Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON) will be represented at this annual event being a Sub-Regional Implementing Agency (SRIA) for MTCP 2.
The MTCP 2 has been implemented in 18 countries across 3 sub-regions, Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Pacific by the Asian Farmers’ Associations for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) but managed by farmer organisations (FOs) at the regional and national levels. The programme has engaged 1,544 sub-national FOs with a total membership of around 18 million women and men farmers.
Since its inception in 2013, PIFON has been managing MTCP 2, a five year programme that is supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC). AFA is the technical Regional Implementing Agency (RIA) working in partnership with La Via Campesina (LVC) and is the grant recipient and financial manager for the MTCP 2 program.
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August 2017

PIFON represented at the Pacific Islands Rural Advisory Services Network (PIRAS) Annual Forum

The SPC EU funded PAPP project in partnership with Pacific Islands Rural Advisory Services Network (PIRAS) through funding support from the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) held a forum bringing together representatives from PICTs to dialogue on the challenges and explore ways to collaboratively mobilise resources and share knowledge and experiences to build capacities of stakeholders. The underlying philosophy was to empower smallholder farmers in the Pacific by strengthening the capacity of agricultural extension and advisory services (EAS).
The objectives of the forum were as follows:
  1. To identify capacity building needs for extension services in the region
  2. To showcase and document best practices in research and extension across the Pacific
  3. To strengthen advocacy needs and policy gaps for research and extension services
  4. To strengthen knowledge management processes to support research and services in countries
PIFON was represented at this forum via its members from PNG Women in Agriculture Development Foundation, Farm Support Association of Vanuatu, Tutu Rural Training Centre and Fiji Crops & Livestock Council of Fiji who showcased their Good Practices in: Youth Empowerment and Training in rural advisory services (RAS), and Empowering Farmers Role in RAS.
The event was co-organized with the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) and the South East Agricultural Research Centre (SEARCA). Approximately 50 participants attended the event which was held over a span of three days from 29 – 31 August 2017 at the Novotel Hotel in Nadi, Fiji.
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PIFON Video Release - Value Chain Training: The Impacts and Lessons Learned

PIFON is very excited to release a new video production capturing the lessons learned from farmer orientated value chain trainings in Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu. Since 2014, PIFON has been working with its farmer organization members to pilot new approaches to value chain training for farmers and other stakeholders that lead to real impacts.
This new video captures feedback from farmers, farmer organisations, traders and the public sector about how this type of training has impacted them and also what can be done to improve on the approach taken.
This video was produced in collaboration with the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA) and the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organization (PIPSO) under an International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) funded project “Leveraging the Development of Local Food Crops and Fisheries Value Chains for Improved Nutrition and Sustainable Food Systems in the Pacific Islands”.
The full video is available on the web here.
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Fiji hosts Farmers Forum

The Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON) in partnership with the Fiji Crop and Livestock Council hosted a two-day Farmers Forum and Farmer to Farmer Learning Exchange in Pacific Harbour, Fiji from 01 – 02 August, 2017.
The Forum brought about awareness on the importance of advocacy and policy engagement through the sharing of case studies and tools which were introduced to help farmer organisations be more effective in engaging with government.
The farmer to farmer exchange promoted the sharing of technologies and lessons learnt through direct engagement between farmers.
Approximately 50 participants attended the event comprising of:
  • Farmer organisation representatives across Fiji’s agricultural sector
  • Representatives from Fiji Ministry of Agriculture
  • Representatives from relevant NGOs and development partners
  • An immediate outcome of the Fiji Farmers Forum was a Farmer's Communique that will be publicly distributed.
    The event was funded by the World Rural Forum (WRF) in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) funded Medium Term Cooperation Programme with Farmer Organizations (FOs) in Asia and the Pacific Phase II (MTCP II).
    Fiji's first Farmers Forum e-bulletin_post_footer