Developments in Rotuma

The Government had signed a Bilateral Trade Agreement with the Tuvalu Government for Rotuma to export fresh root crops to Tuvalu, and though there were some teething problems the trial shipment had already been shipped via the MV Manofolau, a Tuvaluan vessel departing Rotuma on 1/3/11 and to continue on a monthly basis. Both countries have agreed to include fresh vegetables and fruits to the list of approved commodities and this is expected to be included in the June shipment.

Bilateral Agreement

The Government had signed a Bilateral Trade Agreement with the Tuvalu Government for Rotuma to export fresh root crops to Tuvalu, and though there were some teething problems the trial shipment had already been shipped via the MV Manofolau, a Tuvaluan vessel departing Rotuma on 1/3/11 and to continue on a monthly basis. Both countries have agreed to include fresh vegetables and fruits to the list of approved commodities and this is expected to be included in the June shipment.  The trade initiative is expected to extend to Kiribati after the two countries signed an Agreement last year and the Government Fact Finding Mission delegation visited Kiribati in January this year.

The trade initiative will play a big impact on improving living standards and developments in the island.

Ports of Entry

To facilitate the Trade Initiative, the Oinafa Port was declared a Port of Entry in 2008 and works were carried out to upgrade the Oinafa wharf to meet international standard.  Funds have also been released to the Ministry of Works for the extension of the jetty but in the meantime, a working boat had already been constructed to assist in the transfer of goods in bad weather if vessels are not able to berth at the wharf.

The Government have also made provision for the upgrading of the airport after the declaration and upgrading works is expected to commence mid-year with an allocation of $6,000.00.

Capital Projects

To facilitate the trade, a packing shed was constructed and fitted with two coolers for the storage of root crops.  Another shed was also constructed to house the High Temperature Forced Air Plant for treating vegetables and fruits.  The HTFA shed also has a laboratory section for testing of pesticides by Biosecurity officials. 

Biofuel

The Government have also assisted the Council with a Biofuel Plant with an allocation of $350,000.00 and this is expected to be shipped to the island soon. The Council on the other hand will need to establish a commercial arm to run the Biofuel company.

Sandalwood Project

A total of 2,000 trees have been planted while approx 180 trees have reached maturity valued at $1.8 - $2million.

Review of the Rotuma Act

The Review of the Rotuma Act and Rotuma Lands Act was completed last year and are expected to be tabled in Cabinet in April sitting.