Business

Agricultural developments in Lomaiviti

A total of 14 projects have been approved for farmers in the Lomaiviti Province. This has been possible with a total funding of about $94,000 from 2007 to 2013 under
15 Oct 2013 09:46
Minister for Agriculture, Lieutenant-Colonel Inia Seruiratu, and senior ministry officals with members of green valley yaqona group at their farm in Lovoni, Ovalau. Photo: MINFO NEWS

Minister for Agriculture, Lieutenant-Colonel Inia Seruiratu, and senior ministry officals with members of green valley yaqona group at their farm in Lovoni, Ovalau. Photo: MINFO NEWS

A total of 14 projects have been approved for farmers in the Lomaiviti Province.
This has been possible with a total funding of about $94,000 from 2007 to 2013 under the Ministry of Agriculture’s Rural and Outer Island (ROI) programme.
Senior agricultural officer in Lomaiviti Nimilote Waqabaca said major crops funded under this programme and cultivated by the farmers are dalo, yaqona, banana, cassava, coconut and other assorted vegetables.
“Production of dalo and cassava has increased from 2012 to 2013 with farmers earning an estimated $3.07 million for dalo and $12.35 million for cassava.
Mr Waqabaca included this in a recent brief to the Minister for Agriculture, Lieutenant-Colonel Inia Seruiratu, during his visit to Ovalau past week.
Mr Waqabacca said this would impact a province consisting of eight islands with the total population of a close to 21,000 distributed among the 76 villages within these islands.
“This is as many people’s livelihoods are fully-dependent on farming, yet majority farmers are still cultivating on a subsistence level.”
Mr Waqabaca said the Government continues to assist some of these farmers under the Rural and Outer Island (ROI) Programme.

Areas of assistance
Farmers were also assisted under the Coconut Revitalisation Programme.
A total of 16 copra driers were given to people of Koro, Gau, Nairai and Batiki which brought an increase of income of about $663,790 within a year.
Coconut replanting programme is currently continuing on some of the islands as the demand for the high value products such as Virgin Coconut Oil continues to grow.
The Minister had also visited some of the successful agricultural projects on the island which included the visit to Ligavata Yaqona Project and Green Valley Yaqona Project.

Inconsistent shipping services
Mr Waqabaca said the inconsistent shipping services to the different islands in the province often hindered developments and the transportation of produce to the market.
Lieutenant-Colonel Seruiratu assured the Heads of Department serving in the province that the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development is looking into the matter.
He said they would soon address the issues faced by the people in the province.
Lieutenant-Colonel Seruiratu said there are opportunities for more development in the Eastern Division.
He instructed government officials serving in the Province to work closely with people and assist them in attaining success in whatever they do.
“Microenterprise is another area where resources can be put in as with time these enterprises can grow hence improving the livelihoods of the people in the rural areas,” he said.
— MINFO NEWS




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