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Farmer revives farm with seedling distribution

Farmer revives farm with seedling distribution
Rajendra Pillay in Labasa. Photo: WATI TALEBULA
April 26
15:50 2016

KATHRIN KRISHNA

Lautoka

Shiri Prasad, a farmer of Buabua Road in Lovu, Lautoka, has expressed his gratitude towards the Agriculture Ministry for distributing seedlings to his farm as part of recovery process.

Mr Prasad’s six acres of vegetable farm was badly affected by Cyclone Winston after which life had become difficult for him and his family.

Mr Prasad was one of the many farmers who has received seedlings as part of Government’s Agriculture Industry recovery process.

“The supply of seedlings and dry seeds was a timely one as this has helped me get back to my feet,” he said.

Mr Prasad received a total of 1350 seedlings till date and was trying to get his farm started again.

“I have received 600 cucumber seedlings and 750 cabbage seedlings from the Agriculture Department. These seedlings would otherwise cost $270,” he said.

Mr Prasad has been doing cash crop farming for over 20 years now and supplying vegetables to Lautoka Market vendors everyday.

“I plant bele, dalo, long bean, karela (bitter gourd), tomatoes, cucumber and eggplant,” he said.

He also has a 15 acre sugarcane farm.

 

Distribution

Meanwhile, the distribution of seedlings will continue for three more months, confirmed the acting Principal Agriculture Officer for Western Division, Viliame Mainacualala.

He said this would however depend on the capacity of the seedlings that they receive at a given point in time.

“We are still in the process of distributing seedlings to the farmers and the households,” he said.

Mr Mainacualala also highlighted the Agriculture Ministry is inspecting fields and distributing seedlings once the fields are ready for planting.

“We are targeting individual households when it comes to seedling distribution,” he said.

He further stressed the Ministry will be working very closely to prevent any damage to the seedlings keeping in mind the current weather patterns.

“The Agriculture Ministry was supposed to receive 250,000 seedlings from Pacific Community (SPC) but we have received seedlings which would tally less than 100,000,” he said.

“We might still have more rainy days so we will speak to SPC to delay the supply of seedlings.

“This will be done to minimise damage to the seedlings as it is still raining almost every day, which has caused damage to the farms and has resulted in the wastage of seedlings.”

Tomato, Chinese cabbage, English cabbage, papaya, eggplants and chilli seedlings are currently being distributed to households in the Western Division.

FEEDBACK: kathrin.krishna@fijisun.com.fj

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