NFMV staff and members potted up peach palms being grown to replace the Fiji sago palm heart trade.
The newsbyte of 22/4/2010 featured the arrival peach palm seeds being grown by NFMV as a substitute for using the threatened Fiji sago palm for “Heart of Palm” or “Millionaire’s Salad”.
Over 200 sago palms are felled each week to supply the local heart of palm market.
But the Fiji Sago Palm is now severly threatened by unrestricted harvesting and felling not just for palm heart, but for thatching by the tourist industry.
With Biosecurity Clearance obtained, NFMV imported seeds with plans to grow out a seed orchard and a trial commercial stand in the Sigatoka Valley.
As soon as seeds are available they will be made available to the Fiji Department of Agriculture and other farmers and to existing suppliers of Sago Palm heart.
The palms have been growing well so NVMV members, staff and volunteers spent the day potting up almost 1000 palms.
The palms will be allowed to grow in their pots for another couple of months to give them the best possible chance when they are planted out in the Sigatoka Valley.
We thank the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Pacific Development and Conservation Trust for their assistance in funding the project; and to the Department of Agriculture for their continued support for the trialling and establishment of the Peach palm as a new crop for Fiji.