NEW TONGA SQUASH PUMPKIN SELLING PRICE ANNOUNCED

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NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga (May 31, 1998 - PACNEWS)---Ha'amo Growers in Tonga has announced a new minimum price of 55 seniti (34 US cents) per kilogram (2.20 pounds). for Ahijei squash pumpkin, a major Tongan export earner.

Ahijei squash is denser, sweeter and are much preferred in the Tokyo market, Radio Tonga reports.

The Managing Director of Ha'amo Growers, Tsutomu Nakao, Jr., says negotiations with Japanese buyers were successfully completed last week.

Nakao says he expects to ship between 400 and 500 tons of Ahijei squash pumpkin this year, an increase from 150 tons last year.

The minimum price for the 1997 season was 65 seniti (41 US cents) per kilogram.

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