Vaiea Niue



Keywords: Vaiea Niue
Description: The Island of Niue is in the South Pacific (19 0 S and 169 0 W) in the middle of a triangle formed by Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands. Niue is a raised coral atoll, the largest and highest in the

The Island of Niue is in the South Pacific (19 0 S and 169 0 W) in the middle of a triangle formed by Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands. Niue is a raised coral atoll, the largest and highest in the world with a coral reef fringing its elevated coastline. It has a total land mass of 258 square kilometres in area with a coastline circumference of 64 km (Douglas and Douglas, 1989) – see Figure 1. Of the total land area in Niue about 20,400 ha are available for agriculture.

Niue is a self-governing Commonwealth country with an elected 20-member Parliament, in free Association with New Zealand. The administrative centre is Alofi, on the west coast. Niueans are Polynesians, and the provisional population estimate was about 1,700 in 2001 (Niue Statistics, 2001) and 1,625 at the last census in 2006, although the 2008 World Factbook (July 2008) estimate was 1,444 with a population growth rate in 2008 of -0.032%. According to the latest SPC data (SPC. 2008) the mid-2008 population estimate was 1,549 and mid-2010 estimate is 1,476 with a population growth rate for 2008-2010 of -2.4%. The population of the island continues to drop, from a peak of 5,200 in 1966 to 2,100 in the late 1990s and around 1,500 in 2008, with substantial emigration to New Zealand. The number of Niueans living in New Zealand and other countries is about treble those resident in the island. The population of Alofi, the administrative centre was estimated to be about 900 in 2001 (Crocombe 2001). Niueans are bilingual, speaking Niuean and English.

Niue relies greatly on agriculture for its income and food security. The productive ventures in agriculture and livestock are carried out by the public sector, under the guidance of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF). The Niue Development Board has been responsible for planning and execution of schemes for the production of lime juice, passion fruit pulp and juice, honey, copra and reconstituted milk. During the last 5 years focus has been on vanilla (Vanilla tahitiensis ), kava, Nonu (Morinda citrifolia ) etc. and DAFF has been very active in assisting farmers with these crops by facilitating them to become certified organic producers, as overseas markets are very attractive for these organic foods. Honey production has been managed by a private entrepreneur and this product is also on the verge of receiving organic status. The main livestock owned by islanders are pigs, poultry and a few cattle. In the past (1960s) cattle in fenced blocks were used to control weeds under coconuts or on unoccupied homestead areas. These cattle, mainly Bos indicus crosses were managed for beef. 20 Herefords from New Zealand were imported in 1992 for cross-breeding with local stock (mainly crossbred Friesians, Brahmans, Santa Gertrudis etc.), but this was not successful. In 1996 the government cattle farm at Vaiea was relinquished to a private company (Niue Alpaca Quarantine Station) and most cattle at the farm distributed to potential growers in the public sector. Some sheep were imported as sentinels for the newly formed Quarantine Station. Table 1 presents statistics of livestock numbers and imports for the period 1997 - 2007.




Photogallery Vaiea Niue:



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