SUNBIZ

Farmers’ Concerns Heard At Top Level

Farmers in the non-sugar sector will have their voices heard on policy and legislative issues that affect them through a cabinet-endorsed Facilitation Committee for Agriculture. The Fiji Crop and Livestock
11 Feb 2016 10:07
Farmers’ Concerns Heard At Top Level
Chairman Simon Cole (left) and chief executive Jiu Daunivalu deliberate in recent Fiji Crop & Livestock Council meeting

Farmers in the non-sugar sector will have their voices heard on policy and legislative issues that affect them through a cabinet-endorsed Facilitation Committee for Agriculture.

The Fiji Crop and Livestock Council (FCLC or Council) is represented on the Committee by Council chairman Simon Cole.

The formation of the Committee was approved by Cabinet in December last year.

FCLC’s membership means its associations and respective farmer members will have opportunity to directly submit their concerns to top-level decision makers more efficiently through the Council’s membership.

Addressing the agenda item at the FCLC’s first Council meeting in January, Mr Cole said: “This, along with MOUs with the Ministry of Agriculture and Biosecurity of Fiji means we have access to the highest levels of government because government wants us to be there. They want to talk to the farmers.

“We (FCLC) are the bridge between the farmers and government. They’re [government] opening the door to us so we’re going to make use of this opportunity.

“This is our role, to explain the business of agriculture to the Committee and the issues that farmers are talking about.”

Since its launch in 2012, the FCLC secretariat has conducted membership drives and has, to date, registered and formed 12 commodity associations.

They are dalo, yaqona, grazing livestock, ginger, cocoa, rice, organic, beekeepers, rice, pigs, dairy, and agri-exporters.

Mr Cole continued: “Advocacy [on behalf of member crop and livestock farmers] has been one area FCLC has been very effective in carrying out.

“Visibility in the press for us is important as this is the best way to inform farmers that their issues are being taken forward.”

FCLC lobbies government on behalf of non-sugar farmers and aligns itself to the national vision of improving agriculture productivity and creating sustainable communities.

One result of the Council’s successful lobbying has been the reduced duty concessions on agricultural products.

This was an intervention that was supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Finance in 2015 and successful interventions in the pig and dairy industry.

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