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Agriculture Sector Is Doing Well: Cole

Agriculture Sector Is Doing Well: Cole
Root crops displayed at the Central Agriculture Show in Syria Park, Nausori on June 22, 2017. Photo: Monica Aguilar
July 16
12:51 2017

The agriculture sector is not dying, it is growing tremendously.

This was emphasised on Wednesday by Fiji Crop and Livestock Council chairman Simon Cole at the Crop Strategy Validation Workshop.

“Agriculture is growing and has been doing remarkably well over the last five years or so.

“We have started off well and if anybody tells us this sector is dying, well it is not,” said Mr Cole.

According to the Fiji Bureau of Statistics, our agriculture sector contributes 6.7 percent to the GDP and accounts for $542 million of output and $180 million of exports.

The industry also provides employment to 45 percent of the population.

Subsistence farming has remained fairly stable while the livestock sector rakes in $50 million a year.

Although the production of dalo and cassava this year was a bit tough due to the competition with Samoa and Tonga, there is still huge growth in this sector.

Kava, on the other hand, has been improving greatly in exports and local production.

According to Mr Cole, the production of cassava, dalo and kava are the drivers of the agriculture industry.

Imports of lettuce, tomatoes and capsicum, to name a few, have dropped significantly this year compared to the previous years.

“This was because farmers around the country were able to extend the seasons of crops and get them at the market with the quality the market wants to buy,” said Mr Cole.

The demand for wheat has been steady while there is still strong growth across the different types of crops.

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