NEWS

Bainimarama Acknowledges Work Done For Rice Development Programme

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama thanked all the Government officials for the work they had done in the rice development programme at Laqere, Tabia outside Labasa Town. During his visit to
14 Jan 2016 11:50
Bainimarama Acknowledges  Work Done For Rice  Development Programme
PS Agriculture Uraia Waibuta explaining to PM at Laqere, Tabia in Labasa. PHOTO:PENI DRAUNA

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama thanked all the Government officials for the work they had done in the rice development programme at Laqere, Tabia outside Labasa Town.

During his visit to this area yesterday, he was briefed by Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Uraia Waibuta that the 95-acre land had been made productive with rice farming.

“Twenty farmers in Laqere are involved in this project, which was started late last year around September,” Mr Waibuita said.

“Tabia is one of the major areas of agriculture products in the North and Laqere is just a part of Tabia.

“So annually about 100,000 hectares of rice has been planted in this area alone.”

“In an effort to reduce rice import, we targeted this area and soon will use modern machines and technology during the harvesting season.

“When we had the funds approved under the FijiFirst manifesto and one of the activities was towards land development facilities.

“We were allocated $2 million to develop unproductive land in Fiji and our technical team identified this area for development.

“So this unproductive land will be used for rice farming and vegetable farming,” Mr Waibuta said.

“After the rice is harvested by April, vegetables will be planted like beans and pulses.

“We spent about $60,000 in this project.

“Thank you to the Ministry of Agriculture and other departments that was involved in this rice project,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“I am very happy that rural people are involved in this project and other issues would be resolved such as labour shortage, salt water entering into land and road issues.”

Mr Waibuta replied saying that the labour shortage problem would be soon resolved.

“Rice harvesters which are now in Dreketi will be brought to Laqere during the harvesting season and this would ease labour shortage problem,” Mr Waibuta said.

“Farmers have to pay $17 per hour to harvest rice and in one hour they can harvest one acre,” he added.

 

Edited by Jonathan Bryce
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