Tomato farmers want cooperative to sell their produce
August 30, 2015 7:06 pm
Tomato farmers in Sawau District on the island of Beqa are hoping to form a cooperative to help them better market their produce.
There are about fifty tomato farmers in the five villages of the district.
District rep Atunaisa Tawake says the farmers face challenges of high costs of transporting tomatoes to the mainland as well as the lack of an established market.
“We normally put out tomatoes in cases. But sometimes one farmer can supply 100 cases – and the fifty farmers there will be 500 cases in a week. We are looking for a market now to give us a good price.”
In 2013 government supplied over $20,000 worth of building materials to the villagers for the construction of a cooperative, following a request from the farmers.
With the new co-op – built on Dakuni Village, farmers will now sell their tomatoes their instead of bringing it to the mainland.
Farmers are now required to pay their registration fee of $150 before the cooperative can begin operations.