Orchid nurseries for women business owners

Orchid nurseries for women business owners

COVID-19 Recovery Fiji Agriculture Completed



Partner contribution

$ 105,500

DFAT contribution

$ 102,000

Icon Total Funds

Total Value

$ 207,500

Start: October 2021 - End: September 2022


South Sea Orchids

South Sea Orchids (SSO) is an agribusiness dedicated to developing the floriculture industry within Fiji, through the establishment of local and international networks from production through to distribution, in order to make a significant contribution to the livelihood of Fiji’s people

Floriculture Support Association

Floriculture Support Association (FSA), an out-grower program initiated by SSO in 1999, is now an entity of its own which represents the floriculture industry in Fiji

Koroipita – Model Towns Charitable Trust

Koroipita – Model Towns Charitable Trust (MTCT) is a registered Charitable Trust in Fiji that provides cyclone proof housing in an engineered and fully serviced subdivision, and family advancement for severely poor families from the lowest income strata of society including landless, homeless, domestic violence survivors and people living with disabilities.

Australian Government

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade works with international partners and other countries to tackle global challenges, increase trade and investment opportunities, protect international rules, keep our region stable and help Australians overseas.


About this partnership

A partnership to support the start-up and expansion of orchid nursery businesses for women living in Koroipita, a social housing community in Fiji. The partnership creates accessible business opportunities and provides market linkages through logistics and packing services.


Fiji’s economy has been one of the hardest hit globally from the COVID-19 pandemic, placing more pressure on families to find new sources of income. There are limited income generating opportunities for women living in Koroipita, a low-income social housing community on Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu. Women have been particularly impacted by the economic downturn in Fiji due to their high representation in the service sector and an increase in care responsibilities.  There is unmet demand for orchids in Fiji and the weather in Koroipita is well suited to floriculture.

About the initiative

This BPP partnership will scale up a successful pilot model to incubate nursery businesses and facilitate sales and livelihoods for their women business owners. BPP support will develop 17 new nurseries and upgrade the existing 17 nurseries, and offer more women support to start their own orchid nursery business. The orchid nursery businesses will be sustained through Koroipita businesses offering the Floriculture Support Association and South Sea Orchids consistent year-round supply to meet increasing demand from the domestic market.

The orchid nurseries are an accessible business for women as they are placed just outside the home and are low-input from a labour perspective. Accessible businesses enable women to balance care responsibilities while generating an income, learning new skills, gaining financial literacy, and developing leadership skills. With more families at home during the pandemic, other family members are learning skills in floriculture, as well as sharing their knowledge with those in neighbouring households.

The orchid nurseries are environmentally sustainable. Materials are reused and recycled and caring for the environment is part of the training for new business owners.

Key contributions from partners

Hear from the partners


“I’m excited to see what we can achieve with the support from the Australian Government through the BPP. I just want the women to earn a living and to help us build the floriculture industry in Fiji to supply both our local and regional markets. There’s a big potential to expand both of these markets, but we have to start locally,” Aileen Burness, South Sea Orchids






“Having been responsible for collecting the orchids from Koroipita for several years and delivering them to South Sea Orchids for sale each fortnight, I am excited to have this BPP project from the Australian Government, to help increase the quantity of orchids available to market from the one location where they are available all year round. It is also very satisfying to engage more women in the project and help them prosper,” Verona Lucas, Floriculture Support Association






“We are delighted and honoured to be a part of the BPP initiative in Fiji, and to work with established partners in the floriculture sector in Fiji like South Sea Orchids and Floriculture Support Association. This project will not only contribute to the household income of Koroipita women and their families, but also change harmful gender norms by making women visible and valuing their contribution to their families as well as communities,” Phyllis Danford is with MTCT – Koroipita.




This partnership was selected through the BPP’s 2020 Call for Partnerships to support COVID-19 recovery across the Asia-Pacific. 


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