FINDING solutions to increasing food production without negatively impacting on the environment, and at the same time addressing climate change issues, was one of the biggest challenges facing Pacific people.
This was the message delivered by acting Minister for Primary Industries Colonel Samuela Saumatua at the 5th Regional Meeting of the Heads of Agriculture and Forestry Services in Nadi.
Col. Saumatua said traditional communal living and subsistence economy commonly practised in the Pacific was being challenged by an unprecedented increased rate of movement and growth in capital centres across the Pacific.
"The challenge is how to feed our new, urban populations when the experience of the intensification of agriculture across the Pacific has led to land degradation, deforestation and pollution of scarce water resources," he said.
Col. Saumatua said apart from the environmental concerns brought about by increased agriculture as Pacific Island economies raced to meet food security requirements, climate change was adding another dimension to the threat.
"These challenges are further compounded by the impact of sea level rise and increasing pest and disease incidences, associated with climate change," he said.