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Unlock Agriculture Potential, Graduate Told

Unlock Agriculture Potential, Graduate Told
Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu (left) presenting Pushpa Wati with her certificate at the Vivekananda Technical Centre in Malolo, Nadi, on May 25, 2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
May 26
12:35 2018

 

Graduates of three programmes at the Vivekananda Technical Centre in Nadi were challenged to expand the agriculture sector and unlock its potential.

A total of 68 trainee farmers successfully completed the Certificate in Production Horticulture, Levels 2 & 3 and 17 graduated with the Certificate in Hybrid Car Maintenance Level 3.

Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu, who officiated at the event, said, “Fiji needs you to help expand the agriculture sector and unlock its potential. You play a pivotal part in securing our nation’s food security and we are searching for entrepreneurial farmers who will become competitive players in commercial agriculture.

“With the enabling environment created by the Government, you, the graduates, are encouraged to make use of your skills and bring new innovative ideas into the sector.”

On that note, the minister encouraged the graduates not to stop here, but to continue their training to the next higher-level certificate so they could be equipped with the most advanced robust and extensive knowledge in farming and car maintenance.

“I assure you that the ministry will support this training centre through close collaboration in providing expertise and assistance, especially in the identification of subject areas for future training programmes,” he said.

A training programme is in place at the centre where agriculture training is conducted for farmer cluster groups, who are taught the necessary technical knowledge and skill sets to aid them in progressing from subsistence farming to commercial farming.

The agriculture training programmes, developed by the training centre registered under the Fiji Higher Education Commission, aim to:

  • Promote agricultural diversification and better use of resources;
  • Increase vegetable production; and
  • Increase farmer income.

The Agriculture Ministry believes the three objectives will be achieved by:

  • Increasing farmers’ knowledge and yields of production for higher quality vegetables;
  • Encouraging the efficient use of resources based on the effective use of fertilisers, water and pest control; and
  • By helping farmers to meet market requirements on quality and safety standards.

The ministry is working hard to develop Fiji’s agriculture sector and has gradually moved from a “top-down” approach to a demand-driven or “bottom-up” approach, listening and responding to the needs of farmers and to market opportunities.

Mr Seruiratu acknowledged Vivekananda Technical Centre for its dedication to serve the farming community in Nadi, Sikituru, Bulu District and surrounding areas.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

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