NATION

Supplies Boost Farmers’ Recovery

  Two young farmers from Rakiraki were part of the 200 farmers who were yesterday supplied tools and seedlings to help their business grow after being devastated by Cyclone Winston.
05 Nov 2016 12:15
Supplies Boost Farmers’ Recovery
Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Praveen Bala at the Rakiraki market. Photo: Charles Chambers

 

Two young farmers from Rakiraki were part of the 200 farmers who were yesterday supplied tools and seedlings to help their business grow after being devastated by Cyclone Winston.

Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Praveen Bala; Australia Deputy High Commissioner Amy Criogo and United Nations Women Deputy representative for the Fiji Multi Country Office Nicolas Burniat distributed a crop guide and good farming practices booklet, seedlings, a range of tools including cane knives, files, hoes and fertilisers and insecticides from Rakiraki.

20-year-old Mataso, Ra native Kinisimere Marama said she had been farming for seven years now.

Her farm was completely destroyed during TC Winston and she was finding it hard to get back on her feet.

“I plant tomatoes, melons and kumala and I am very happy with the assistance being given us,” she said.

Nalawa farmer Emori Seru said he had been farming for about 12 months.

The 22-year-old, who is still single and staying with his parents, has close to an acre of land on which he farms cucumber, cassava and dalo.

“I am presently cutting cane as my farm has not fully recovered and this assistance will help me a lot,” he said.

Over 1500 farmers across Fiji will receive same assistance.

According to a joint statement by the ministry, the Australian High Commission and the UN Women, the initiative was aimed to support those farmers whose farms were destroyed by TC Winston.

Distribution of the farming assistance would also be done at Ba, Lautoka, Nadi, Namaka and Tavua markets as well as those who supply the Nausori and Suva markets.

The supplies include seedlings for Chinese cabbage, tomato, long bean, watermelon, cow pea, French bean, cucumber, okra, eggplant and English cabbage.

“I know for a fact the assistance provided today will lead to positive changes in the lives of the farmers and the consumers of the products that will be brought to the market by these farmers,” Mr Bala said.

Mr Burniat said the distribution supported women to more quickly regain their income streams and help provide for their families through growing and selling their produce at the market

“This marketplace is an example of the resilience of Fiji’s people in rebuilding their lives and the Australian government is pleased to support farmers here in Rakiraki and in seven other cyclone affected markets to return their farms to productivity,” Ms Criogo said.

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