FIJI NEWS

Grow Food For All: PM

MAIKA BOLATIKI & MARAIA VULA Suva The Government wants all Fijians to benefit from growing more food locally. This was the message relayed by Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Retired) Voreqe
02 Aug 2014 08:29

MAIKA BOLATIKI &
MARAIA VULA
Suva

Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Retired) Voreqe Bainimarama is congratulated by Minister for Agriculture Inia Seruiratu after he launched the FIJI 2020 Agriculture Policy Agenda at the Novotel Convention Centre in Lami last night. Photo: Jona Konataci

The Government wants all Fijians to benefit from growing more food locally.
This was the message relayed by Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Retired) Voreqe Bainimarama to all those who were at the launch of the 2020 Agriculture Policy at Novotel Convention Centre, Lami last night.
“In a country blessed with so much fertile land, there is no reason why we can’t produce the food we need as a country here at home,” he said while delivering the keynote address. “And there’s no reason that on top of that we can’t grow food for our Tourism Industry and food for export as well.”
With imported food, he said Fijians were subject to price fluctuations in the international market.
“If the price of wheat goes up in Australia, we can only control it after it comes to Fiji. If the price of milk goes up in New Zealand, we can only control it after it comes to Fiji,” Mr Bainimarama said.
“If the international price for rice goes up, we can only control it after it comes to Fiji.”
The Prime Minister said what was important was that the policy agenda established a long-term plan for the industry moving forward.
He said that long-term policies were something he insisted on across a broad front.
“I believe that responsible government means thinking ahead – five years, 15 years. Short-term thinking can only achieve short-term results. True progress and development comes from careful planning and an understanding of the bigger picture of national development. We want a Fiji that continues to grow and prosper for generations to come,” Mr Bainimarama said.
“This policy lays out my Government’s 21st Century vision for Fiji’s agriculture sector, a five-year development plan to modernise the industry and make our farmers the most competitive and successful in the region.
“Take agriculture as an example, not only does equipping farmers with the necessary tools; education and support set them up for sustained livelihoods. It also boosts our nation’s food security in the long-term.”
Food security, the Prime Minister said, was one of the biggest challenges that any country would face in the 21st Century and Fiji was no exception.
He said while Fiji had very effective price control mechanisms to ensure that ordinary Fijians did not pay more than they had to, farmers still needed to produce more food and milk in Fiji.
The 2020 Agriculture Policy is the first of its kind in Fiji’s history.
Feedback: maikab@fijisun.com.fj
maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj
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