Pacific governments encourage local food production

In some of the latest developments, Samoa's leader is pushing for local hotels to offer Samoa cuisine, while Vanuatu's government is urging farmers to meet the country's national target of food security.

Samoa's prime minister is urging hotels and restaurants to include local cuisine on their menus.

Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi was speaking at Samoa's annual tourism forum where he lamented the lack of foods like taro and green bananas cooked fa'alifu style with coconut cream.

Tuila'epa told tourism industry stakeholders that local food is another good reason to visit Samoa and other Pacific destinations.

The prime minister spoke of his dismay at not being allowed a local favourite when visiting a hotel on Savai'i.

He also told of the financial burden of importing expensive foreign ingredients to use in non-Samoan cuisine.

Vanuatu's Department of Agriculture said the theme for its Agriculture Field Day is "Eat local, go global", and calls on farmers to collect their kumala cuttings from the Agriculture Training Centre in Port Vila.

The Director of Agriculture, Antoine Ravo, said that with the help of Vanuatu Agriculture Research Training Centre on Santo, his Department has selected 30 different types of sweet kumala that are disaster and climate change varieties and grow well even out of season.

These form the staple food for families in both urban and rural areas and farmers are encouraged to farm them to provide sufficient food supply to keep consumers from buying rice, noodles and tinned fish.

Mr Ravo said the objective was to push farmers to increase food production on their farmers to meet the country's national target of food security and reduce the rate of non-communicable diseases in the islands.