Profiling Pacific Women in Agriculture: Pacific Connect Dialogue

Women start a business most often of a place of social enterprise – they start businesses to provide, to care, to nurture their families and the communities around them.

Ms. Olisana Mariner, Pacific Connect Hub Coordinator, Apia, Samoa and founder of THE HUB

On Wednesday, 16 February, 2022, the International Centre for Democratic Partnerships (ICDP) hosted the Pacific Connect Dialogue which featured attendees from:

  • Vanuatu ;
  • Solomon Islands;
  • Papua New Guinea;
  • Australia;
  • Samoa;
  • Fiji; and
  • Tonga

The event was hosted in a ‘Second Track’/Talanoa style ‘hybrid’ process. In Port Moresby, the event was hosted in person at the Hilton Hotel Port Moresby.

The Pacific Connect Dialogues are unique platform designed to bring emerging leaders from Australia and the Pacific to highlight the achievements of the Pacific Connect Community to build stronger connections, and to come together to collaborate on new sustainably developed projects.

Dialogues allow guest speakers to share knowledge and ideas, expand networks across the Pacific and Australia, explore opportunities to identify and progress ideas.

WHAT IS PACIFIC CONNECT?

Pacific Connect was launched by the Prime Minister of Australia in September 2017 to forge stronger, strategic-level relationships between Pacific and Australian leaders across the public, private, academic and community sectors. 

Hear from Pacific Connect Community as they highlight the impact of the Program. Pacific Connect is supported by the Australian Government and implemented by International Centre for Democratic Partnerships. For more information, visit https://www.icdp.com.au/pacific-connect/

Pacific Connect is delivered by the International Centre for Democratic Partnerships (ICDP) and sponsored by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

ICDP operates in Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. 

ICDP has designed a program of activities to promote collaboration and business opportunities between Australia and the Pacific in applying digital technology to support sustainable development, with a focus on women and entrepreneurs.

Through Pacific Connect, ICDP brings together Australian business and emerging leaders with Pacific Islander counterparts to deliver locally led solutions to challenges, and to create an active network of engaged change makers.

THE SPEAKERS

Facilitated by Ms. Salote Waqairatu, Research Scientist and Pacific Connect Hub Coordinator, Suva, Fiji and Ms Olisana Mariner, Co-Founder of THE HUB and Pacific Connect Hub Coordinator, Apia, Samoa, the purpose of this year’s Pacific Connect was to unite emerging business leaders from government, business, community, and academia across the Pacific & Australia to hear from two Pacific women in business, Jean Tikaram, Owner, Waitika Honey Farm, Fiji and Floris Niu, Owner/Founder, Ms Sunshine Organic Farm, a charitable trust for women in Samoa who both bravely  shared their experiences and learnings through an interview style dialogue. 

Jean Tikaram, Owner, Waitiki Honey Farm

Jean Tikaram


“Women are dead keen to gain a sense of independence, dead keen to start a business, dead keen to generate some income but it’s not always simple as that”.

Jean is an apiarist and female entrepreneur in Fiji producing
organic honey and offering a unique agritourism experience. Her background is a music teacher. She and her husband retired to Fiji, where husband’s ancestors were indented laborers from India. She and her husband purchased a farm, a stark difference to her earlier music teaching career where she discovered her love for bee making and agritourism.


She is currently very active in the value adding honey space –
processing beeswax for candles, candies, lotions and is
working to create a ‘Fiji women in beekeeping group’ to
support other females working in the industry.

Florius Niu, Owner and Founder, Ms. Sunshine Organic Farms

Floris Niu


“I’m all about creating spaces for women”

Floris Niu is the owner and founder of Ms Sunshine
organic Farms Charitable trust in Samoa.
Ms Sunshine organic Farms is an Organic Cacao
Plantation in Tuana’i Village, on Upolu Island, Samoa.
They have been exporting beans to a very boutique
market in New Zealand for vegan chocolates and
health food products since 2014.

They also operate a
Cacao/ Koko Agritour and host an authentic farm and
village experience, featuring cacao and chocolate
infused foods and beverages.


Floris is currently in New Zealand to promote Samoa’s very
first farming calendar being sold in New Zealand to promote women cocoa farmers, organic farming and
the importance for Pacific peoples to return to their land.

It’s about walking in the footsteps of our ancestors and doing justice to the land that was gifted to us.

Floris Niu

Floris is a 4th generation cacao farmer and after suffering from several illnesses, she returned to Samoa. Floris is writing a book on agritourism for cacao farmers which she plans to publish later in 2022.

Since her journey commenced, she has trained women who now export their own produce globally.

Floris offers mentorship opportunities.

Her vision is to use our platform to share the work that she is doing with women in farming all over the world – “its just the click of a button”.

Pacific Connect Dialogue

You can watch the recorded version of the dialogue below.

Listen and download the mp3 format of the dialogue below.

Audio format of the Dialogue.

Since attending the event in February, SR Curio has spent March in pre-launch mode working on launching our Eve of Harvest brand, a retail lifestyle brand harnessing active organic ingredients that promote wellness, wellbeing and health – organic food, skin care, clean beauty and wellness.

SR Curio’s new lifestyle brand, Eve of Harvest.

You can follow Eve of Harvest’s journey on Youtube and Facebook.

JOIN THE PACIFIC CONNECT COMMUNITY

You can sign up for their email newsletter and stay connected to Pacific Connect to benefit from future events and dialgoues here

If you are in Port Moresby, you can email the Port Moresby Hub Coordinator for Pacific Connect Ms. Nicole Jeune here.

Ms. Jeune volunteered to be the Port Moresby Hub Coordinator in 2020 as she saw the need to help the women, youth and men who have the ideas but are yet to get themselves established in the MSME Space in Papua New Guinea. Through these Pacific Connect Dialogues and sessions, she invites everyday Papua New Guineans to attend and learn from participants within PNG, from Australia and within the Pacific Region, and turn their ideas into reality. Nicole plans to expand this network throughout Papua New Guinea. 

Published by SR_Curio

Inspire. Motivate. Act.

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