Green Pearl Guava Launched in Mar­ket

Fiji Sun - - Business - KAR­ALAINI TAVI Feed­back: kar­alaini.tavi@fi­jisun.com.fj

Guava has the po­ten­tial to re­duce non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­ease, says Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Ru­ral and Mar­itime Devel­op­ment and Na­tional Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Inia Seruiratu. Mr Seruiratu made this com­ments while of­fi­cially launch­ing the new ‘Green Pearl’ Guava at the Si­ga­toka Re­search Sta­tion yes­ter­day.

The Green Pearl Guava is now re­leased for com­mer­cial cul­ti­va­tion. He said there is a need to de­velop Fiji’s fruit in­dus­try to in­clude more lo­cally grown fruits in our di­ets. Mr Seruiratu said Fiji has been re­ly­ing on its tra­di­tional fruits such as banana, pineap­ple, papaya and man­goes over the years.

Im­ported fruits such as ap­ples, or­anges, pears and grapes have also taken a wide mar­ket share. “Guava, un­til now has not been a com­mer­cially cul­ti­vated crop. The re­lease of this va­ri­ety has pro­vided farm­ers with the op­por­tu­nity to grow a new crop at com­mer­cial scale,” he said.

“A to­tal of 2,500 seedlings of this va­ri­ety has been planted as or­gan­ised or­chards and will start bear­ing fruits in a month’s time. “Mar­ket re­search con­ducted on this va­ri­ety has shown great de­mand. Fruits can be sold in su­per­mar­kets at $7 to $10 per kilo­gram while ho­tels are will­ing to pay as high as $12 per kilo­gram. How­ever, we need to sup­ply these mar­kets with con­sis­tently good qual­ity fruits.”

He said re­duc­ing fruits and veg­etable im­ports is a pri­or­ity for the Fi­jian Gov­ern­ment.

He added that re­search and devel­op­ment will con­tinue to play an im­por­tant role in Gov­ern­ment’s plan for the long-term sus­tain­abil­ity and growth of the agri­cul­tural sec­tor in Fiji.

“The search is for higher yield­ing va­ri­eties, low cost of pro­duc­tion, pest and dis­ease tol­er­ance and re­silient to the ef­fects of cli­mate change.

“The search for ex­cel­lence is a never end­ing process. It can take years be­fore a high per­form­ing va­ri­ety is re­leased.

Green Pearl the new Guava va­ri­ety was in­tro­duced from Tai­wan in 2007 and has un­der­gone ten years of field re­search.

“Guava has been hailed as one of the ‘su­per’ fruits due to the nu­mer­ous health benefits it of­fers,” he said.

“It is low in calo­ries and fats but carry sev­eral vi­tal vi­ta­mins, min­er­als, and an­tiox­i­dants. The fruit is a very rich source of sol­u­ble di­etary fi­bre which makes it a good bulk lax­a­tive.

“With its enor­mous nu­tri­ent benefits, Guava are there­fore has the po­ten­tial to help re­duce NCDs.”

Photo: Kar­alaini Tavi.

Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Ru­ral and Mar­itime Devel­op­ment and NDMO Inia Seruiratu with team leader of the Tai­wan Tech­ni­cal Mis­sion Yeong-Lang Yang the new ‘Green Pearl’ Guava at the Si­ga­toka Re­search Sta­tion on Septem­ber 25, 2017.

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