Harvested sustainably

Multi-stems harvesting maintains plant's integrity

Hogamata Farm is Fiji’s only producer of non-destructively harvested Heart of Palm and has developed the commercial basis for heart of palm supply to Fiji's finest hotels and restaurants.

Because of its multiple trunks, harvesting is non-destructive, as one trunk is cut, suckers are growing up to take its place, the palm is not killed.

This is how bananas grow and are cultivated.

Other species of palm have to be destructively harvested for their heart.

Pacific Heart of Palm Plantation
Natural Spring Fed

Drip Irrigation

Pacific Heart of Palm Plantation
Cyclone Winston caused a lot of damage to standing Peach Palm and the El Nino drought severely hampered its recovery, such that supply was virtually halted for 9 months. Harvesting has now resumed but will not reach its potential until mid 2017.
Sustainable Recycling of Waste

95% Material Retained

Hogamata Farm is Fiji’s only producer of non-destructively harvested ‘heart of palm’ and has developed the commercial basis for heart of palm supply to Fiji's finest hotels and restaurants.
Natural Growing
Pacific Heart of Palm

Preparation, Storage and Oxidation

Pacific Heart of Palm Plantation
  • Because of its multiple trunks, harvesting is non-destructive, as one trunk is cut, suckers are growing up to take its place, the palm is not killed. This is how bananas grow and are cultivated. Other species of palm have to be destructively harvested for their heart.
  • Unlike most species of palm, the peach palm heart contains very little calcium oxalate and so hardly oxidizes (browns) at all. Sago palm heart (seko) is sticky and becomes dark brown within a matter of seconds of exposure.
  • Good shelf life. If kept cling wrapped or vacuum-packed i.e. protected from oxidation and drying out and refrigerated, peach palm heart can keep for up to three weeks
Metroxylon vitiense

Conserving the Endangered Fiji Sago Palm

The historic distribution of the Fiji Sago Palm has been restricted essentially to the province of Serua. Through the historic period the distribution has declined significantly to its current relict populations and endangered status. Pollen analysis in swamps reveals that prior to human arrival on Viti Levu, the Fiji Sago Palm was found right up the Sigatoka valley near Hogamata Farm.

Until relatively recently, the loss was steady but inexorable, however, within the last few decades the rate of loss has increased dramatically through new schemes and practices:

  • large scale coastal drainage schemes;
  • new residential and agricultural subdivisions (Pacific Harbour);
  • the growth of a non-traditional ‘palm-heart’ trade – seko (for which the palm is felled); and,
  • the introduction of unsustainable leaf harvesting for thatching brought about by demand from the tourist industry. NatureFiji-MareqetiViti with its partners, initiated the Fiji Sago Palm Conservation and Sustainable Utilisation Project in January 2008.

NatureFiji-MareqetiViti with its partners, initiated the Fiji Sago Palm Conservation and Sustainable Utilisation Project in January 2008.

The project highlighted Fiji’s endemic Sago Palm as a hitherto unrecognized, endangered species, for which sustainable harvesting by an informed and supportive landowner community, provides the best option for the long term survival of the species in its characteristic single species wetland forest.

One component of the Species Recovery Plan which NFMV agreed with the Fiji Government was to prohibit the sale of seko and to introduce a substitute ‘palm-heart’ species to be cultivated by those using the Fiji Sago Palm.

Thus was born the Hogamata Farm Heart of Palm project, and the first seedlings from the farm were donated to the Government to enable the Agriculture Department to start its own propagation centre in 2015. Hogamata Farm and NFMV have an agreement that 50% of the margin on every seedling sold will be donated to NFMV for Fiji Sago Palm or other conservation purposes.

Dakunikoro (Pacific Harbour), the world’s largest Fiji Sago Palm forest, subdivided, sold and being clear-felled for marginal agriculture.
Dakunikoro (Pacific Harbour), the world’s largest Fiji Sago Palm forest, subdivided, sold and being clear-felled for marginal agriculture.