World Grain - June 2020 - 34

IN THE SOUTH
PACIFIC ISLANDS

Although this lightly
populated region
produces little grain,
wheat-based
foods are popular

T
FMF Foods Ltd.'s
milling complex
near the Walu
Bay port of Suva,
capital of Fiji,
is the oldest and
largest in the
South Pacific.

34

KHOLJKWO\SRSXODWHGLVODQGVRIWKH6RXWK3DFL¿F
cover a vast expanse of ocean extending several
thousand kilometers from Papua New Guinea
(PNG) in the east to Tahiti in the west. Even on the
largest island groups of this "Blue Continent," almost
no cereals are grown. Still, wheat-based foods and rice
play a big role in the diets of the 12 sovereign countries
and 10 dependent territories.
Excluding Australia and New Zealand on its subtropical and temperate southern periphery, the population of Oceania is just 12.3 million, of which three
quarters is PNG. Flour milling companies are found
in only four larger countries: PNG, Fiji and New
Caledonia with two each and a single small miller in
Solomon Islands. Nevertheless, the region is largely
VHOIVX൶
FLHQWLQZKHDWÀRXUSURGXFWLRQ
There is a smattering of subsistence rice farming and
village mills in some countries, but the only commercial-

scale milling is in New Caledonia of imported paddy.
Before the arrival of Europeans, easily cultivated
taro and breadfruit as well as coconuts were the main
VRXUFHVRIFDUERK\GUDWHVZKLOH¿VKDQGSRUNSURYLGHG
protein. Other introduced root crops like yams and cassava are now important as well.
In most countries, health indicators like longevity
DQGLQIDQWPRUWDOLW\KDYHLPSURYHGVLJQL¿FDQWO\LQUH
cent decades, but modern diets and overnutrition pose
a major challenge. The 10 countries with the world's
highest rates of obesity are all in the South Seas, ranging from 46% in Samoa to 62% in Nauru, leading to a
growing incidence of diabetes and hypertension.
7KH 6RXWK 3DFL¿F FDQ EH GLYLGHG LQWR WKUHH VXE
regions that provide a framework for this survey:
Melanesia in the east; the Polynesian triangle to the
west and south; and Micronesia, much of which is
north of the equator.

June 2020 / World Grain / www.World-Grain.com

Photos by David McKee

by David McKee



World Grain - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of World Grain - June 2020

World Grain - June 2020 - 1
World Grain - June 2020 - 1
World Grain - June 2020 - 2
World Grain - June 2020 - 3
World Grain - June 2020 - 4
World Grain - June 2020 - 5
World Grain - June 2020 - 6
World Grain - June 2020 - 7
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https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2013_12_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2013_11_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2013_10_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2013_09_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2013_08_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2013_07_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2013_06_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2013_05_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2013_04_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2013_03_01
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https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2013_01_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2012_12_01
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http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2009_12_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2009_11_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2009_10_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2009_09_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2009_08_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2009_07_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2009_06_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2009_05_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2009_04_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2009_03_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2009_02_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2009_01_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2008_12_01
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