Criticism for a better future


Making mistakes is one thing, but making mistakes and learning from them is the stepping stone to success.

Different representatives from various organisations took the floor at the agribusiness forum in Nadi to share their experiences and the lessons learnt.

Impactful words

There were two particular speakers who really got to me. While one’s words pierced my heart as it was the harsh reality, the other stole the words from my mouth.

Cate Pleass the marketing director of Pleass Global Limited, shared with the participants some strategies to ensure a sustainable agritourism.

“It’s very important that you develop and add new elements so people can find a reason to return”.

I couldn’t agree more to this statement, imagine this: you go to a country, you go skiing, hiking etc. After 3-4 years you reconsider that country, but there is nothing different than before.

Though I really don’t see how they are adding new elements at to their own company “Kila world”, an adventure park on the island of Viti Levu in Fiji. From the looks of it, they are not practicing what they are preaching. I don’t see any new activities they are adding, at least not from the time they opened.

This next particular speaker had me thinking and comparing to what he was saying to my own country. Oliveira Gómez, from the Dominican Republic, is the Deputy Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA).

While talking about the Caribbean, he mentioned that accessibility, appeal, authenticity, availability, consistency, convenience, quality, security, value, and volume are the key to success in terms of tourism.

Being from the Pacific, it felt pretty derogatory for me, but then this is a wake-up call. After all, I had mentioned before how much we have to learn from the Caribbean.

As this particular speaker delivered his presentation, every word hit me hard like an arrow, it was painfully true.

Standing at the podium confidently, indirectly telling not only me, but everyone across the region “Ha! We are better than you in so many ways”.

Of course, those were not his direct words, but at least that’s what he was saying between the words delivered.

A truly inspiring figure

No he (Oliveira Gómez) is not what you may think he is. Just because he shows pride for his country doesn’t mean he is a ‘brag’ or ‘show-off’.

It is in fact inspiring to know how they make so many different things back in the Caribbean. Things like coconut ice-cream. In Fiji, to my knowledge, there is only one ice-cream parlour that sells that.

His criticism should in fact be taken more like an encouragement for a better Pacific Nation.

I probably sound biased, but that’s because he is worth that much praise. As a fairly experienced public speaker, I really liked how he did his presentation. It truly had an impact on people who are not in this industry (like myself).

Really, we have a lot to learn from the Caribbean. And after much thought, I realised that this expo was strategically planned. Whoever did the brainstorming was a genius to have people from the Caribbean to come to this part of the world to inspire us to make a change.

Get to know about it before its published, follow the #PacAgriTo on Twitter for live updates on the event.

Blogpost by Avneel Abhishay, Social Reporter for the Pacific Community AgriTourism Week 2015. 

Copyright © 2016, CTA. Technical Centre for Rural and Agricultural Cooperation

CTA is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.