A farm for growing pearls in the Fiji Islands CIVA Fiji Pearls, which exports its products to the United States and Japan, experienced hard times two years ago, The Fiji Times writes.
Business, like the entire population of the islands, was affected by the tropical cyclone Winston. During the disaster, 44 people died, 40 thousand houses were destroyed, 350 thousand people, or 40% of the country, were injured one way or another. The damage from the hurricane was estimated at $ 1.4 billion.
Today, CIVA Fiji Pearls is gaining momentum again. For the cultivation of pearls, it takes about three and a half years, and entrepreneurs are already preparing for April 2019 to reach the previous growth rate.
Pearl farm was founded in 2008 by Claude-Michel Prevost as part of a local community development program with the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
In 2010, CIVA Fiji Pearls began producing pearls. The farm is located on the windward side of Taveuni, the third largest island of Fiji, and occupies 55 hectares of the Wailoa Lagoon.
The company uses a constant supply of pure water from the South Pacific to produce pearls of incredible beauty shades. The color made Fijian pearls the most sought after in the world, say the owners of the company.
In the restoration of the farm after the hurricane Prevost and his partners had to invest a lot of money. “We are grateful to the Ministry of Fisheries of the Islands, which literally jumped into the water with us to save our mollusk populations,” he says.
Production was restored literally by the whole world – the Australian government, ACIAR, the European Union through the Pacific Community (SPC) helped with this.
Today, underwater plantations CIVA Fiji Pearls have more than 50 thousand young mollusks, and the farm is constantly increasing it.
The company participates in a reef rehabilitation project, allocating 10% of its oyster eggs, in particular, the giant clam Tridacna Maxima.
Aborigines, mostly male fishermen, are engaged in the production of pearls, and more recently, CIVA Fiji Pearls also works with women’s groups.
“We train them and give jobs in the production of pearl jewelry for the local market,” says Prevost. A boutique is open on the islands, selling pearl necklaces made by local craftswomen.
The most expensive bracelet, woven in a tropical style of seven pearls, costs $ 1,370 there.