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Agriculture services to improve thanks to donation

Agriculture services to improve thanks to donation
From left: Pacific Community director general Colin Tukuitonga, Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Jitendra Singh, and European Union Delegation to Fiji Ambassador Andrew Jacobs during the handover on August 8, 2017. Photo: SPC
August 10
11:00 2017

 

The Pacific Community with the European Union (EU) has boosted the work of the Ministry of Agriculture with the donation of vehicles and other assets worth $300,000.

The handover was done on Tuesday through the South Pacific Community-EU Improving Key Services to Agriculture (IKSA).

Pacific Community director general Colin Tukuitonga said the assets were part of the IKSA programme, one of the several projects implemented by SPC and financed by the EU to assist farmers and communities in Fiji’s sugarcane belt areas.

These projects he said were linked to the EU’s Accompany Measures for the Sugarcane Protocol (AMSP) programme, designed to support a diversified market-driven agriculture, promote alternative livelihoods and income generating activities for the most affected populations to alleviate risks to natural disasters.

Mr Tukuitonga said through the project, they had been working with farmers to develop their horticultural production in communities.

He was referring to those that have a high income dependence on the production and harvesting of sugarcane.

“We hope the vehicles and other assets being handed over will assist the ministry of agriculture to sustain their key services in community and farmer development and to continue growing the horticultural market and creating new income streams,” he said.

EU Ambassador Andrew Jacobs hoped that the assets would strengthen the extension services to farmers and farming communities in Fiji’s sugarcane belt.

“Entrusting the assets to Fiji’s institution responsible for this sector will ensure that these activities will continue to the benefit of vulnerable communities in Fiji.”

Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Jitendra Singh said the vehicles would enable them to reach out to farmers, and enhance other service delivery requirements.

“We will also be monitoring and evaluating how these programmes work.”

Assets included in the donation were fridges, computers, tables, and chairs.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  lusiana.tuimaisala@fijisun.com.fj

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