Home Awardee Profiles Ivor Kaisami, Massey University

Ivor Kaisami, Massey University

Ivor’s Research Topic: Traditional Climate-Smart Agriculture in Tokelau

“First, allow me to thank you for the privilege to travel to Tokelau: this was indeed special as well as a personal challenge, not least the 36 hour boat trip from Apia to Tokelau. My research examined whether ‘traditional climate-smart agriculture’ can help to provide food security to Tokelau. During my time in Tokelau I found that, even under the threat of climate change impacts such as pockets of inland areas inundated with saltwater, there are at present substantial sources of traditional food. These could definitely help to sustain the local population (est. 500), but these are not always favoured foods and there are plenty of imported foods which offer alternatives. In the words of one interviewee: “We can easily survive on our traditional food source like breadfruit, pulaka, tamu and plenty fish from the sea, as our people have done in the past, without any help from overseas. You can see for yourself – the plantation, but this is a ‘generation of rice’. People prefer rice because it is easy to cook. But if there is no rice, then they will have to eat the pulaka and breadfruit and the sea birds”.Another challenge is that elders hold on to knowledge, so young people are not learning about traditional agriculture.”

Ivor Kaisami, Master of International Development
September, 2019

Related Post