18 September 2015
Tokelau will launch a new ‘food’ project next month to reduce non-communicable diseases (NCD) by replacing various imported goods with locally grown produce.
Called ‘Small Garden’, the project will initially supply every household  on Tokelau’s three islands with specially selected seeds to grow their own vegetables.
The main aim is to gradually reduce people’s reliance on particular overseas imported products by eventually replacing them with locally grown produce from ‘Small Garden’. As the practice takes hold and becomes popular, the variety and volume of local produce should lead to a Tokelau that is completely self-reliant on its own food source.
For a country that is the world’s first to be 100% solar powered, the ‘Green Garden’ goals are very doable.
Coordinated by the Economic Development, Natural Resource and Environment (EDNRE) department under its annual work plan, ‘Green Garden’ is a collaborative effort with the Ministry of Health primarily aimed at reducing NCDs.
But there are wider added-value goals from this project.
The other expected outcomes for EDNRE is that not only will the project provide healthy diets, exercise and financial savings for each household, but that the organic farming methodology and recyclable raw materials used will ripple out benefits that will also reduce solid waste and related damages to the environment. As well as help refresh the soil fertility and vigor of Tokelau’s outlying environs.
To give the project a good chance of success, EDNRE has partnered-up with a local NGO to assist with its implementation.
In preparation for the project and launch, training has been provided to all three islands.
Selected seeds were vigorously researched and analysed by EDNRE to have the best characteristics for growing in Tokelau were planted on compost before they were taken out to the communities.
Green Gardens will be officially launched to mark and celebrate World Food Day on 16 October.