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90k Registered Farmers After COVID-19, A Big Boost: Reddy

The Ministry of Agriculture recorded close to 90,000 farm­ers who are engaged in agri­culture directly as their source of livelihood.
24 Sep 2022 21:27
90k Registered Farmers After COVID-19, A Big Boost: Reddy
Attendees at the Mini agriculture show and agriculture farm machinery exhibition at the Sigatoka research station in Nacocolevu, Sigatoka on September 22,2022. Photo: Salote Qalubau

The Ministry of Agriculture recorded close to 90,000 farm­ers who are engaged in agri­culture directly as their source of livelihood.

Prior to COVID, there were only 83,000 farmers recorded.

Minister for Agriculture Mahen­dra Reddy said there was a notable increase in the number of farmers after the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Mr Reddy was speaking during the first Mini agriculture show and agricul-ture farm machinery exhi­bition at the Sigatoka research sta­tion for the 2022-2023 financial year in Nacocolevu, Sigatoka on Thurs­day.

He said the distribution of seed­lings provided by the Government of India to members of the public who wished to do their own farm­ing contributed to the increase.

“At that particular point in time a certain proportion of urban house­holds lost their only income source of employment and we were very concerned about ensuring that they are able to secure basic food from the only little space that they have,” he said.

“So, the seed that was received did wonders, households are able to grow their own vegetables.”

He said over the years sugarcane farming and exports had taken the lead role in the agriculture sector.

“Overtime non-sugar agricul­tural exports took a more promi­nent place, so much so that in 2021, non-sugar agriculture exports in­creased to $121 million surplus $100 million-mark, first time ever in 2020 and further increased to $121 mil­lion in 2021,” he said.

“This is after feeding the entire nation, our non-sugar agricultural export has been growing substan­tially and leading the non-sugar agricultural ex-ports is Kava, num­ber two is dalo, number three is turmeric, number four is ginger, number five is horticultural crops.”

He said Fiji was on the right path in terms of the nation’s agriculture sec-tor growing on a commercial level which meant that the spillo­ver impacts would yield positive impacts for stakeholders.

Story By: salote.qalubau@fijisun.com.fj



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