IHC2014: Destination Focus - Tonga
The Executive Committee of IHC2014 met in early February 2013 in Tonga to discuss the Pacific Island Countries and discover the horticultural priorities within the region that could potentially be showcased at the Congress. The meeting was hosted by the Minister and senior staff of MAFFF in Tonga. Luseane Taufa, Congress Vice President representing the Pacific Island Countries, did a wonderful job organising the meeting. The Minister for MAFFF, Hon. Sangster Saulala and acting CEO Dr Viliami Manu welcomed the Committee and provided encouragement with their strong support of the Congress. The trip included visits to local horticultural producers such as Minoru Nishi of Nishi Trading, a Tongan grower and exporter who is exporting vegetables to Japan and coconuts to New Zealand. The Committee was so impressed with his dedication and expertise across the production and supply chain that discussion was held on how best to help research marketing priorities and assist on highlighting the practices within the Pacific region.
A number of symposia included in the IHC2014 program will present opportunities for contributions from delegates of the Pacific Island Countries. These include Indigenous Vegetables, High-Value Vegetables Including Root and Tuber Crops, Tropical Fruit and Impact of Asia Pacific Horticulture – Resources Technology and Social Welfare. A two-day FAO/WHO workshop on Horticulture and Human Nutrition, held prior to the Congress, will also host up to 100 delegates from Pacific Island Countries, however other interested delegates will be welcome to register. In addition, shorter discussion workshops will be held during the Congress on Cultivation for Protected Conditions in Extreme Environments, Market Access, Soil Health/Pest and Disease Control for Sustainable Production and Commercial Horticultural Development for the Pacific with the Objective of Forming a Pacific Horticultural Society. The February meeting was very successful with the main highlight being the hospitality and friendliness of the Tongan people who welcomed the Committee into their community. The group discussed a number of crucial items in the lead up to the Congress and everyone is thoroughly looking forward to IHC2014.
Call for Abstracts Opening Soon
Abstract submissions for IHC2014 will open on 1 April 2013. Authors will be able to submit their abstracts online via the IHC2014 website up until November 2013 and accepted abstracts will be published on a Congress USB stick which delegates will receive onsite. More information will be made available on the website in late March 2013.