Grace Road Food Starts Planting Rice

Grace Road Food Company Limited has started planting rice in Navua. It is optimistic about its expansion plans to Vanua Levu where it will look to purchase over 3000 acres
18 Oct 2014 06:28
Grace Road Food Starts Planting Rice
[From the left, Leone Yaragamuda – Chairman of Deuba, Executive Director Daniel Kim, Pastor Ok Joo Shin, Minister of Agriculture Inia Seruiratu, GRFC Chairman Jin Sun Chae.

Grace Road Food Company Limited has started planting rice in Navua. It is optimistic about its expansion plans to Vanua Levu where it will look to purchase over 3000 acres of land.

The company funded by the Grace Road Church in South Korea has said it received tremendous support from the Ministry of Agriculture.

During a visit on Thursday Minister for Agriculture Inia Seruiratu toured the project site in at Wainidova Road, Navua.

Mr Seruiratu said Government appreciated the cordial relationships between the two countries.

“South Korea is one of the countries with which we established our foreign mission in the last few years,” Mr Seruiratu said.

“We are thankful with a partnership as such; it’s a clear indication of the strong bilateral relations and of course has translated into technical and other areas of assistance.

“You have correctly stated that Fiji has a lot of potentials and opportunities but we lack technology, skills and capital and that is why partnerships are so important for us.”

Government intends to focus on of human capital development.

“Particularly for us from the ministry of agriculture, we need to train our farmers, the new generation and of course those that will substitute.

Company executive director, Daniel Kim said about 20 blocks were already planted with rice.

He added that the warehouse was near completion.

“We have also completed construction of two green houses and the third one is on the way. And they have also started growing vegetables in green houses.”

Mr Kim stressed their initial rice farming methods focused on maximising learning and trialling different varieties and techniques in order to come up with the right way under given condition.

They are also in the process of bringing in world renowned researchers to Fiji like Professor Kyung-Ho Kang and Dr Sungjin Lee to join their project.

The company was registered in March and during that span, has invested $3 million already on setting up and planning for production in Navua

This investment has included importing state-of-the-art machinery.

The Seed

The company has also set up a new entity called The Seed in order to help the local rice farmers.

“We cannot achieve the grand goal of the import substitution of rice alone. We will need to mobilise the local famers to start growing rice again and productively.

The Seed is dedicated to solving this particular problem. We are trying to come up with a way to provide the affordable access to machineries, fertiliser, insecticide, training and information.

“As the first step, we have started the conversation with rice farming machinery manufacturers in order to import affordable farming machineries,” he said.

Vanua Levu

Specifically on their Vanua Levu expansion, the company is on the lookout for a large scale (300-3000 acres) farm land suitable for rice farming area.

“We have received tremendous support from the Ministry of Agriculture during our visit.

“There are a have few candidate lands and will continue searching for more.

“Our modelling suggests that it would require little less than 30,000 acres of rice farming area in order to achieve complete rice import substitution.

“We believe we can do this and will expand our operations by setting up large scale farms in Vanua Levu.”



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