SUNBIZ

Council Committed To Farmers Despite Funding Setback

Major programmes that were to be funded by the International Trade Centre (ITC) have had to be significantly delayed. Fiji Crop and Livestock Council executive chairman, Simon Cole, said the
24 Apr 2015 10:56
Council Committed To Farmers Despite Funding Setback

Major programmes that were to be funded by the International Trade Centre (ITC) have had to be significantly delayed.

Fiji Crop and Livestock Council executive chairman, Simon Cole, said the Council has suggested immediate action to deal with this crisis and he is now considering his options.

He said working closely with the European Union that is providing the funds and ITC, that has been assigned as the implementation agency, there seems to be a roadblock in funding.

“It has been a difficult path but our Council is committed because we fully understand the importance of the council when it is fully operational,” Mr Cole said.

“What we don’t understand is why we have faced numerous delays in the past two years, some related to accounting problems, some to management problems, even delays in organising the funding itself.

“I mean three years and the problems have still not been sorted. And these are the people who are supposed to be building our capacity.”

Mr Cole said they made a promise to the 30,000 farmers to provide services to improve their lives and livelihoods.

“If we cannot sort out the ITC difficulties, we will be forced to look elsewhere for funding.”

 

Its operations

Fiji Crop and Livestock Council is a Government initiative in conjunction with private sectors agricultural associations.

It was launched with Government support in 2012 and received further recognition when it was endorsed by Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

It was recognised with a memorandum of understanding between the Government and Fiji Crop and Livestock Council in providing a service to the 30,000 non-sugar farmers’ in Fiji.

Mr Cole said with the limited finances the council has had, they have opened the Secretariat in Lautoka.

They have also produced a newsletter and have been working with associations like Yaqona, Dairy, Honey, Pigs, Graziers and Dalo with the ultimate aim of improving farmers standard of living.”

 




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