Indian Government Donates Digger To Support Cook Islands Agriculture

ARAP Growers Association thanks India for 'tremendous' gift

By Melody Cargill 

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, April 19, 2017) – The ARAP Growers Association has received a major boost in its drive to help maintain their plantations after securing grant support from the Indian government.

The association, which comprises growers from Avatiu, Ruatonga, Atupa and Panama area, received a new digger and trailer about a fortnight ago.

ARAP Growers Association president William Taripo said he was thankful to the Indian government for this “tremendous” grant.

“This will end up as a great support for the taro growers in excavating their patches. Not only that, it will also be used and maintained to do some clearing of the grounds around the village," Taripo said.

"It could help in digging holes for burials as well."

Taripo said a total of $50,000 [US$35,000] was given from the Indian government, from which $44,000 [US$31,000] was used to purchase the digger and trailer.

Before being used for the first time, the new equipment was blessed by Avaitu Deacon Tutavake Tutai last Thursday.

“We will be calling the growers of the ARAP community together this week to discuss how we can sort a user-pays system to cover the cost of fuel and operations,” Taripo said.

"On behalf of the association, we thank the Indian government for this support."

Cook Islands News
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