The hope is for the pack houses to boost economic prosperity for local communities through increased export of their local produce.
Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand has been involved in the developments for a while: “PTI is absolutely delighted the Tongan Government has stepped into the agricultural sector to give some control and guidance which will lead to greater returns for Tonga’s growers.”
According to a pngfacts.com article, the Tongan government secured around 1.5 million Tongan pa'anga (US$ 688,000) towards funding the project. Although the initial deal would include food, fish and handicrafts, Cocker said they would start by buying and exporting yams, arum, cassava, taro and watermelon.
The new pack house will be equipped with the latest packing equipment bringing it into line with international standards. New pack houses are planned for building in Vava’u, Lapaha, Vaini, Houma and Hihifo in Tongatapu.