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Volume 437: debated on Wednesday 21 May 1947

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Food Export Organisation


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken to encourage the proper organisation of the cultivation and packing of food for export in Fiji; and, in particular, what encouragement is being given to the development of co-operative methods.

A recent expert report on the sugar industry has established that it is closely organised on efficient lines. Copra, the other principal foodstuff grown for export, is handled by the Fiji Copra Board. A significant development has been the establishment of a modern copra crushing mill. I have urged the Governor to encourage co-operation in Fiji and, under the guidance of local officers, some advances in this direction are being achieved. The Co-operative Societies' Ordinance enacted this year will undoubtedly provide a further stimulus. In addition, the Government are about to recruit a marketing officer, one of whose functions will be the development of cooperative markets. He will play an important part in promoting greater efficiency in the matters to which my hon. Friend refers.

Banana Exports


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will give figures for banana production in Fiji over the last 10 years.

With my hon. Friend's permission, I will circulate the reply in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Do these figures show any drop in the banana production in Fiji? Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is need for an energetic atttack on the problem of the economic rehabilitation of Fiji at the present moment?

Very careful consideration is given by the local Government to the future economic progress of Fiji. In reply to the first part of the question, there has been a considerable drop in the production of bananas, compared with the prewar years.

Following is the reply:

As part of the Fiji banana crop is consumed locally, and cultivation is carried on by numerous small-holders, exact figures of production are not available.

Export figures are as follow:

(cases of 90 lbs.):

During the war years the following bananas were supplied to the Armed Forces:

(cases of 90 lbs.):

Local consumption is estimated roughly at the equivalent of 50,000 cases per annum.