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Officers Consult, Discuss Climate Change With Farmers

Officers Consult, Discuss  Climate Change With Farmers
Farmers and residents of Vunika during the cliumate change and farming system developmen in Labasa on July 20 2017. Photo: Peni Drauna
July 22
11:46 2017

Subsistence crop production represents a major strength of Fiji’s economy because of the ability of people to feed themselves and support each other during periods of disasters, loss of income, and times of displacement.

Climate change is now resulting in high frequency and severity of extreme weather events such as cyclones drought and excessive rainfall which impact crop production so says Farming Management Officer and Land Use Northern Division Timoci Vakaboro.

Mr Vakaboro and a team from the Ministry of Agriculture were conducting consultations with Vunika and Coqelo farmers outside Labasa on Thursday.

He said the consultations were important as it was an opportunity to share notes with farmers with the indication of climate change on the status of crop production in Vunika, Coqeloa and its flats.

“People derive their livelihood or secure their food and nutrition security from natural resources sectors including agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture,” Mr Vakaboro said.

Climate change brings about high frequency and severity of extreme weather events affecting many tropical crops like yams, taro, cassava, sweet potatoes, bananas and watermelon,” he said.

“Adaptation is important and that is what we will discuss during such consultations.”

“More than 70 per cent of the population in the North directly and indirectly rely on agriculture as a source of livelihood.”

Sugarcane farmer, Kansami Naicker, 59, of Vunika, Labasa said the consultation was very good and ways of good farming practices.

“The practice to avoid soil erosion and how climate change has affected the crop production in our area was especially useful,” Mr Naicker said.

More than 35 farmers were present at the consultation.

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