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Government Revitalising Local Rice Industry: Seruiratu

Government Revitalising Local Rice Industry: Seruiratu
Minister for Agriculture Inia Seruiratu with the rice farmers infront of the Rewa Rice Limited mill in Dreketi, Vanua Levu yesterday. Photo:SHRATIKA NAIDU
January 07
11:00 2017

The Government is committed to revitalising the local rice industry.

This is done to reduce rice imports by $35 million by 2020.

Minister for Agriculture Inia Seruiratu said this during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Rewa Rice Limited new complex at Maunidevo in Dreketi, Vanua Levu, yesterday.

“In fact the annual per capita consumption of rice in Fiji is now around 75 kilogrammes with a heavy reliance on imported rice to satisfy that,” Mr Seruiratu said.

“It is estimated that rice imports in Fiji amounts to around $40 million annually which is equivalent to 50,000 tonnes of rice.”

The Ministry of Agriculture is focussed in its effort to:

  • increase land area under rice cultivation
  • increased productivity in terms of yield per hectare through extension of improved rice cultivation technologies.

Mr Seruiratu said: “The Ministry of Agriculture as part of these efforts established a National Rice Task Force comprising of a wide range of stakeholders to coordinate the Fiji rice revitalisation programme.

“I have been informed that the new rice mill will supplement the current mill and accommodate the notable increase in rice production around Vanua Levu.

“This new mill coupled with new large scale rice planting projects will contribute enormously to Government efforts of increasing economic activity in the Northern Division and guarantee improved livelihoods for more rural Fijians.”

Rewa Rice Limited chairman Raj Sharma said the new mill would be set up by the end of March.

“The investment is moderate but the output of ten tonnes equates to 3000 tonnes for 300 days in a year compared to forecast of 1,300 tonnes expected,” Mr Sharma said.

“The new mill and upgrading would be at a cost of $0.5 million.”

EDITED BY: FARZANA NISHA

Feedback: shratikan@fijisun.com.fj

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