Fiji develops new indigenous variety of corn


About a year ago, at a meeting with Fiji’s agriculture ministry officials, members of the country’s hospitality industry expressed concern about ensuring a continuous and reliable supply of corn because of its growing popularity among hotel and resort guests.<!--more-->

“Corn had not been grown in Fiji yet and we have depended completely on imports,” Kuini Waqasavou, the ministry’s media officer told Pacific Periscope this week. “The ministry worked with sources in Hawaii and imported seeds of the variety most suitable for Fiji’s conditions.”

The seeds have now been tested and the results have been quite satisfactory. A new test crop has been sowed this week soon after the Tuesday announcement of the new indigenous variety. “The corn should be ready for harvesting in three months and be served in resort and hotel dishes soon afterward,” Ms Waqasavou said.

The food and beverage industry has been impressed with the move. “While it ensures a constant and local supply, it also proves cost effective because it is locally grown and saves import costs,” the head of a major conference facility in Nadi said.

The new seeds are being distributed to farmers and horticulturists in different parts of the country.

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