NIUE AGRICULTURE GETS $700,000 UN BOOST

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ALOFI, Niue (Niue News, Mar. 4) - Niue agriculture stands to benefit from irrigation projects sponsored by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization.

The FAO will says it will pay the US$700,000 cost of irrigation equipment and four advisers being sent to Niue in the coming months.

News of the FAO's contribution emerged in Bangkok last week when Niue Premier, Young Vivian, and Niue's High Commissioner to New Zealand, Hima Takelesi, attended a regional conference of the FAO, the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

In Auckland, Mr Vivian told Pacific affairs correspondent John Andrews that he was pleasantly surprised at being invited to chair the joint conference, which, after being nominated by a Bangladesh delegate and seconded by China, he accepted.

"I couldn't believe it," he said. "Here I was, someone from a little country."

Mr Vivian said there were about 50 representatives from the region.

Of the FAO-funded irrigation scheme for Niue, the Premier said: "They're sending four people to stay for two years. They'll set up irrigation projects for farmers and fruit tree growers. The four people will work with growers. They will be advisers and hands-on people. They can install it [irrigation equipment] and show farmers what is required. "We've always had an irrigation problem. The lack of water has always been a problem. "And they're sending us a portable sawmill to cut up the trees that are uprooted [following January's Cylone Heta] and are ready to cut," said Mr Vivian. "It will happen as soon as things [transport] can be arranged. They [FAO] want to start on irrigation projects in May-June. Mobilising the equipment, that is the problem."

March 9, 2004

Niue News: http://www.niuenews.nu/

 

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