Nishi Trading Co., Ltd
What inspired your love for breadfruit?
Knowing the nutritional values and thus the health benefits for people. Secondly, the trees when in season, up to 70% are wasted on the ground in many of our communities. Capturing and processing the fruits for food security, improvements of livelihoods, not to mention the benefits to our economy as a whole with potential exports reducing our balance of trade deficits were big draw cards to our decision to work with breadfruit.
What is one thing you would like people to know about breadfruit?
That it has a very low Glycemic Index which is extremely beneficial to people with diabetes.
How have you been working or affiliated with the crop?
We have worked on the crop through close collaboration with strong partners such as Tokyo University of Agriculture, Mordi Tonga Trust and JICA in recent years to carry out extensive research over a number of years. The research is still in progress.
What is your favorite breadfruit dish?
My favourite dish is our Tongan desert called “Faikakai” which is cooked breadfruit dipped in a brown coconut sauce. My second favourite dish is breadfruit chips.
In your opinion do you think breadfruit is a worthy opponent in the battle to conquer world hunger?
Yes, I believe that breadfruit is a worthy opponent to conquer world hunger because it is a resilient tree that thrives in warmer climates. When we consider the effects of global warming and climate change around the world with many places seeing record temperatures every year, breadfruit will stand to provide a healthier and nutritious food source option for mankind.
Do you have a favorite breadfruit story?
Through our partnerships, we have been able to connect with 122 rural communities throughout Tonga. In doing so, thousands upon thousands of breadfruit trees have been propagated and this work is continuing to this day and into the future. Village nurseries have been built and supplied to many communities to support this work along with training to various groups to ensure sustainability of the investments. We aim to reduce the reliance on wheat flour over the coming years once we have perfected the use of breadfruit flour for our domestic market in working with local bread makers, restaurateurs and women’s groups.
What is one important message you would like people to know or learn about breadfruit?
Breadfruit can be:
1. A sustainable food source
2. It is a healthier option than other processed foods, especially for people with diabetes
3. It is gluten-free