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Student ID:

Name: Seini Vasitai Tukuafu


Vaka Leader:
Number of words: 1507
Topic: Using an example of a land resource in your region or in your community critically
discuss current or future issues related to its exploitation/development and how these issues are
perceived regionally or by members of the local community, including yourself.
AGRICULTURAL CROPS
Tonga is of course located in the South Pacific Ocean and said to be the only monarchy country
standing in the Pacific Island countries. Tonga is heavily relying on foreign aids, remittances and
subsistence farming for survival. However, Tonga have been recently attacked with many
challenges regarding of subsistence farming. Therefore, there is need for a continuous
sustainable farming of agricultural crops. In fact, it is importantly vital for the people to survive.
Thus, this reflective writing will reflect on issues that can be used for future development of
agricultural crops farming in Tonga. This is done through import substitution, teamwork and
being well educated. This writing will also emphasize on how these future development issues
are being perceived regionally.

To begin with, it is with no doubts that agricultural crop is one of the main important resources
in Tonga. Unfortunately, farming of agricultural crops randomly is only for the short run. Hence,
the need for the Tongans to maintain a sustainable subsistence farming through import
substitution. In simpler definition, Import substitution is define as a strategy that enforce locals to
replace the goods imported with products that are locally made. [ CITATION Ole13 \l 1033 ].
Through import substitution, agricultural crops will put into greater and use to replace products
that are imported from overseas. In Tonga, the famous “Heilala Vanilla” plants vanilla and uses
it to produce various other products. From the vanilla, they produces soap, lotions, ice creams
and vanilla syrup which can be used by chefs for flavoring of their food as vanilla contains
extreme rich flavor within. [ CITATION Hei20 \l 1033 ].

“Popular ways of utilizing Tongan vanilla beans include using them in dishes containing
figs and raisins. In 2014 Tonga ranked as the world’s eighth-largest producer of vanilla
beans; producing 186 tonnes”. [ CITATION CLI19 \l 1033 ].
These products can be used as a substitution of protex soap that are imported from overseas, tip-
top ice cream from New Zealand and the lotions that are usually imported from Hawaii. It is not
only the vanilla that are used for creating such products but agricultural crops such as taro and
cassava are also used by locals for producing of chips and snacks in which children can enjoy.
Not forgetting ginger that is consider as a key ingredient in making wines, candies and teas.
[ CITATION CLI19 \l 1033 ]. This can replace all the snacks that are imported from overseas.
Through this, there will be a development in subsistence farming of agricultural crops and locals
will keep doing it until they get to a point where Tonga is completely independent without
relying on other countries for financial funds.

To add on, the community and Tonga as whole will benefit from encouraging of import
substitution. People will tend to save more and will not be spending on expensive exported
products anymore. They will humbly enjoying local products that are cheap and safe.

Moreover, agriculture crops does not only act as a source of income for many households in
Tonga but it also contribute food for families. There are families who are able to survive from
consuming of agricultural crops such as taro, kumara, yam and many other crops that are found
in Tonga. In fact, Tonga is literally living off the land depending in agriculture crops for food
and make money.[CITATION Amy13 \l 1033 ] . Thus, there is a great need of development in this
area so that it will keep on going and getting better each day by working together as teamwork.
Collaboration will help boast development in farming of agricultural crops. The more, the
merrier. As the community are all lending a helping hand and work together as a team, more and
more agricultural crops will be produced. For instance, each villages in Tonga are running a
program known as “iate”, where group of men in the village gather and plant agricultural crops
together. Even taking care of the piece of land where the crops are being planted. Usually they
divided the men in which some are cleaning up the piece of land and the rest are to plant the
crops.

Furthermore, another way to enhance development of agricultural crops is to reinforce education


and send more scholars in this field of study. Investing in human capital by pursuing further
studies in the area of agriculture will contribute a lot to the development of subsistence farming
in Tonga. The Government of Tonga is offering scholarships to Tongan students who wish to do
further studies in the area of agriculture at Alafua Campus. When students completed their
studies, they are tend to return and work for the Ministry of Agriculture in Tonga. [CITATION
Min20 \n \l 1033 ]. People are more knowledgeable of the Agriculture; therefore, subsistence
farming will have improvement. Even if problems will arise regarding of the farming of
agricultural crops, it will be handled in an appropriate way. Consequently, parents and villagers
are fully supporting their students who are away from home for further studies. As they rely in
them for good fortune not only for the scholar’s family but also for the village as a whole.
In addition, another way of enhancing well education in farming of agricultural crops for future
development is to teach youngsters about it. As the saying goes, “the reef of today is the island of
tomorrow”. The young generations are our hope of reassuring that there will be a development in
subsistence farming. Young ones should be trained now for as they grow older they will be
skillful and hold on to traditional method of farming. They could also pass it down to generation
and generation. As mentioned in a program (Pacific Risk Resilience Program 2015), the South
Pacific countries including the Friendly Island of Tonga are taking the lead in establishing
knowledge hubs. This knowledge hub include climate-resilient crops and providing training for
young ones to become successful young farmers. [CITATION Pac15 \l 1033 ]. Training and teaching
of young generations will enhance sustainable subsistence farming. In a household in Tonga,
when the head of the family heads out to plantation for planting of crops, young boys of the
household follow him. Some of them are young that they are still in primary schools.

Finally, to develop farming of agricultural crops now and in the future, farmers need to have
incentives. They need assistance so that they will sustainably continue the eagerness to do
subsistence farming. Government should provide subsidies for farmer to help boasting the
agriculture sector in producing what they produce best including planting agriculture crops.
There are times where farmers are facing obstacles such as natural disasters. This obviously
damaged plantation and livestock. Hence, the need for assistance from the Government to help
revive the agriculture sector until they are again stable. Fortunately, the Government of Tonga
does provide subsidy to farmers to help them in farming. The Government supply seedlings and
herbicide that may help in clearing the land area. They also lend out big machineries to local
farmers to use such as ploughs and tractors. [CITATION Agr03 \n \l 1033 ]. This assistance will
sustain and ease up farming of agricultural crops. Farmers will find it convenient to work.

Government can also help through reduction of taxation. This will lead to cheaper cost of
production in which the farmers will benefit from. This is for farmers who are especially planting
crops to be exported to foreign countries. Farmers will earn more money as they will not spend
much on the cost of production such as tax on freighting and tariffs. However heavy taxation
upon exportation undermine the international competitiveness of the agricultural sector.
[ CITATION Agr03 \l 1033 ]. According to the (World Trade Organization, 2014), Tonga emphasizes
taxation and tariff on importation only for the safety of the country. However, they do not levy
tax on exporting of agricultural products, as it will open up many door for opportunities to local
farmers. [ CITATION Sec14 \l 1033 ]. Other method such quota that limited the quantity of products
to be exported also hinder development of agricultural farming. This will block opportunities that
local farmers were to have as they export their goods outside the country. Hence, the need for the
government to lift these interventions so that farmers will develop their agricultural crops.

To conclude with, agriculture is the livelihood of families in Tonga. It contributes to the growth
of the economy and it is importantly vital. People are feeding off and earning their main income
from it. There are lives who depend only on agriculture in order to survive. Therefore, it must be
sustain and develop to avoid any exploitation that will happen to the agriculture sector and its
agricultural products. Government should also help and work together with the people for better
development in the agriculture sector. In fact, the success of the agriculture sector will not only
benefit individual farmers but the country of Tonga as a whole. We would not want our children,
our children’s children, and our future generations to suffer. No, the time of suffering end with
us, our generations will live a peaceful and bright life. We take actions and care now for a
prosperous Tonga in the future.
References
Bank, A. D. (2003, September). ADB. Retrieved March 24, 2020, from Tonga: Agriculture Sector Review:
https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/project-document/70404/37124-ton-tacr.pdf

Heemsoth, A. (2013, October 8). Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation. Retrieved March 25, 2020,
from Tongan Livelihood: https://www.livingoceansfoundation.org/

IIIsley, C. (2019). What Are The Major Natural Resources Of Tonga? Economics, 21-27.

LLamazares, O. (2013). Global Negotiator. Retrieved March 23, 2020, from


https://www.globalnegotiator.com/

Programme, P. R. (2015, May). UNDP. Retrieved March 25, 2020, from https://www.undp.org/

Secretariat. (2014). Trade Policy Review. World Trade Organization.

Training, M. o. (2020). Ministry of Education and Training. Retrieved March 25, 2020, from Tonga
Government Scholarships: http://www.edu.gov.to/

Vanilla, H. (n.d.). Heilala Vanilla. Retrieved March 23, 2020, from https://www.heilalavanilla.com/

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