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Title: Traversing the topsy-turvy terrains: The coconut sector in Kingdom of Tonga
Author(s) : Jayasekhar Somasekharan, Tevita Lautaha, Kulufeinga Anisi Bloomfield, Ilaisaane OliviaTu itupou & Maile Tahafitu Fa ase e
Type: Research Articles
Volume: 45
Issue : 2
Month : August
Year : 2017
ISSN: Print -0304-5242, online - 2454-8480
Pages : 91-100
Keywords : Tonga, sectoral challenges, Pacific islands, Coconut
Abstract: Coconuts are inextricably linked to the culture, tradition and economy of Tonga from time immemorial. Although coconut sector enjoyed a predominant position in the national economy until the late 1980s, thereafter the sector has experienced a downfall. The 1990s and 2000s witnessed a stagnant coconut economy in Tonga and in the recent times, the role played by the sector has become insignificant. The comparative position of Tonga with respect to the major Pacific islands, in terms of production, trade and competitiveness is not advantageous to the country. The contribution of coconut sector in the national economy and export earnings has been dwindling in recent years. It was also seen that the export diversification in products and markets are absent. There are only a few exporters operating in the sector, therefore the benefit of perfect competition and economy of scale is not realized. In contrast, the coconut sector in Tonga still has the potential to provide year round income to the farmers. Therefore, the sector needs an adequate impetus in all the nodes from production to the exports, with plausible options and strategies to make it sustainable.
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