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Govt Assists Prasad Family in Farming

Govt Assists Prasad Family in Farming
Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Jitendra Singh (standing front, third from left), at the handing over of a tractor to the Prasad family in Sigatoka. Photo: DEPTFO News
May 17
12:23 2017

The Ministry of Agriculture continues to assist farmers under the Food Security Programme. This is in an effort to reduce imports of agricultural produce by two per cent annually.

Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Jitendra Singh handed over a 60 horsepower (hp) Mahindra tractor and farming, implements to farmer Rajnesh Prasad, of Tumakeli Settlement in Bilalevu, Sigatoka on Monday.

Mr Singh said through the programme they were focused in growing local foods to meet local demand.

And consequently replace products that were mostly imported including vegetables, rice, feed grains, potatoes, beef, dairy and poultry.

“The national agriculture development goal is to build sustainable community; hence to ensure food security in conjunction with the primary economic development goal of increasing income and employment opportunities in the rural communities,” Mr Singh said.

The ministry, he said, had embarked in several capital programmes.

They included: Export Promotion Programme, Food Security Programme, Rural and Outer Island Programme, Agriculture Extension Services, Sigatoka Valley Development Programme and many more which addresses farmer’s problems and livelihoods.

“The new $69,000 machine was procured on one third and two third basis whereby the farmer will pay one third of the cost and two third is paid by the Government,” he said.

He said the machine would enable the farming family to realise their dream. And they will be further assisted through the guidance and careful planning of the Crop Extension Officer in Nadroga/Navosa province.

“I urge all farmers to make use of the opportunity and consult our extension officers on the available programmes that will set them a new farming platform that targets both food and income security,’’ he said.

Mr Singh explained that bringing in the machines helped address the issue of shortage of labour and to improve productivity in the farm.

Mr Prasad, 55, said having a tractor will definitely boost the production in his farm and enable him to meet the local demand as well as supply to the overseas market.

The tractor will assist the 15 families in the settlement.

Source: DEPTFO News

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