SUNBIZ

Agro Exporters Told: Explore Value Added Products

A big market and opportunity exists to export processed food as opposed to only fresh fruits and vegetables, agricultural exporters were told yesterday. Director Trade, Seema Sharma, said on average,
28 Aug 2015 08:41
Agro Exporters Told: Explore Value Added Products
The Fiji Agro Exporters symposium with farmers and various Government departments officials (Director Trade, Seema Sharma seated second right). Photo: Sheetal Prasad

A big market and opportunity exists to export processed food as opposed to only fresh fruits and vegetables, agricultural exporters were told yesterday.

Director Trade, Seema Sharma, said on average, fruits and vegetables make up seven per cent of our total exports.

Ms Sharma was speaking during the Agribusiness Exporters Symposium held at Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka.

“Fiji’s total exports have been increasing in the recent years and so have been the exports for fresh fruits and vegetables,” she said.

Ms Sharma said also exports of its related products were increasing where further value has been added such as crystallised ginger.

“It is also worth noting that Fiji is developing its manufacturing sector and capacity,” she said.

“Farmers and fruits and vegetable suppliers also have a market to supply to agro-processors who will further value add and export higher value products.

She said figures have been noted which shows exports of prepared food stuff, beverages and tobacco is also on a rise.

Ms Sharma pointed out that the agriculture suppliers could also look at the tourism sector to supply fresh produce.

However, she stressed it was important to maintain the quality and quantity to meet the demands of the tourism sector.

 

Analysing links

The theme for the symposium was ‘Strengthening the Weakest Link’.

Interim Chairman for the Fiji Agro Exporters Association, Rizwan Khan, said these weakest links needed to be analysed.

He stated often their point of view was hardly taken and policies were made without specific regard for the association.

“Budget allocations are done and we are not included in the processes nor do we know how much is there for us,” Mr Khan said.

The day-long symposium is targeted to have issues addressed and a way forward for all in the industry.

Feedback: sheetalp@fijisun.com.fj

 

Fijisun E-edition
Advertise with fijisun
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: