1Agronomy, Research Station, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Food and Fisheries, Tonga
Horticulture is tremendous industry and has role in daily life in Tonga. Many people are involved in agriculture and of those the majority are involved in subsistence and semi-subsistence agricultural activities with only 5% engaged in commercial activities (Tongan Agriculture Sector Plan).
In our project we run clinics to help growers identify their pest and disease issues and help them develop plans to manage the pests and diseases. We ran the plant health clinic at every district of the main island and three main outer islands. The farmers come to the clinic with their own sample of pest and disease and we try to identify it.
Reference: Tonga Agriculture Sector Plan 2016-2020; 2015 Tonga National Agriculture Census Main Report and www.phama.com.au
My Name is Sila Isitolo and I am the supervisor for the agronomy section at the research station here in Tonga. I have worked for MAFFF for five years now. I also graduated from the University of South Pacific Alafua at Samoa with a Bachelor of Agriculture Science. I am working on the project “Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific Islands”. I am one of the trainers to be a plant health doctor here in Tonga and I also attend a few clinics run for local farmers.