September 2017

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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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