Letters: Why planting is dying

Wednesday September 11, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor
Hothouse tomatoes from NZ. 19091008 Hothouse tomatoes from NZ. 19091008

Dear editor

It was interesting to see Kiriau Terepu in the paper promoting Agriculture.


During his time as Agriculture Minister for eight years, nothing was noticeably achieved to introduce or improve the growing of fruit or vegetables in the country to feed the domestic market let alone any exports. 

In fact Terepu was in the enviable position of Environment Minister at the same time so could have orchestrated the Cooks to be the organic farm to New Zealand and vastly improved our export earnings.

Despite numerous calls to do so, and the focus and determination of the organic growers association, Terepu did not support or recognise  such a niche in the market, so we continued to import hothouse tomatoes from New Zealand over the winter months! 

Terepu was a great supporter of the use of chemical weed killers that were known to be harmful to animals, people and the lagoon, like Gramoxone containing paraquat, which poisoned and killed my dog after he drank from a puddle from near a sprayed plantation.

And other dogs were also diagnosed and died from an excruciating death from the poisoning of their lungs.

When the call for organics was made to save the lagoon from agriculture run-off, the Agriculture Ministry spin doctors denied any damaging effects from sprays and did little to curb their use or ban them from entering the country.

It is not surprising no one is planting or harvesting anymore, because they have never had any financial or technical support, apart from a large number of rust-collecting machinery from China that supposedly went to the villages to help the people – but only if you voted Cook Islands Party.

RAT Mave

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