Cook Islands: A Labor of Love
By Climate Change Cook Islands
In the early hours of morning, Rourumaru (Rouru) Papatua begins work on the family taro plantation or on her own vegetable plantations on Mangaia, the second largest of the Cook Islands. After harvesting taro, she peels and cooks the root vegetable, mashes it to a pulp and then wraps it in banana leaves. This island delicacy, called “tiromi”, is a lot of work to prepare, but it’s a labor of love.
Rouru is proud to be a young woman farmer keeping her cultural planting/cooking traditions alive. She sells her tiromi at the market in Mangaia on Fridays.
“My goal is to be a productive and successful farmer. I want to be able to help my family and community. I want to show that a woman can do anything no matter what as long as you are passionate about what you do.” – Rourumaru Papatua
Rouru Papatua is part of the Phase 2 Young Farmers project that is rolling out in Mangaia supported by the Strengthening the Resilience of the Cook Islands to Climate Change Programme (SRIC-CC). SRIC-CC is implemented by Climate Change Cook Islands, a division within the Office of the Prime Minister and supported by the United Nations Development Programme.
With financial support from the Adaptation Fund (AF), the SRIC-CC Programme and communities in the Pa Enua are addressing environmental risks through community-based approaches and community-driven adaptation. The SRIC-CC Programme works with more than 200 individuals on community-based resilience initiatives to enhance water and food security across the 11 Pa Enua (outer islands) of the Cook Islands.