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After 50 Years, Rewa Rice Limited Rebrands To Fiji Rice Limited

After 50 years, the Rewa Rice Limited has been rebranded to Fiji Rice Limited. The launch was done by the Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz
06 Mar 2017 11:00
After 50 Years, Rewa Rice Limited Rebrands To Fiji Rice Limited
From Left: Special Administrator for Labasa and Savusavu town councils Vijay Chand, Rewa Rice Limited mill manager Ashrit Lal, Rewa Rice Limited chairman Raj Sharma, Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism , Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya, Ministry of Public Enterprises permanent secretary David Kolitagane and Labasa Chamber of Commerce president Satish Kumar during the launch of the Fiji Rice Limited at the Friendly North Inn in Labasa on Saturday. Photo: SHRATIKA NAIDU.

After 50 years, the Rewa Rice Limited has been rebranded to Fiji Rice Limited.

The launch was done by the Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya at the Friendly North Inn in Labasa on Saturday.

Mr Koya said the rebranding was part of Government’s and the company’s efforts in building a strong brand Fiji across all Government entities especially the commercial enterprises.

“Fiji Rice Limited now proudly joins bigger companies and organisations such as Fiji Airways, Investment Fiji, Tourism Fiji and Film Fiji to name a few,” Mr Koya said.

“Fiji Rice will commission another new mill this year, which will double the company’s current production from five tonnes to 10 tonnes per day.

“And as the minister responsible for trade, I am also happy to mention that products by Fiji Rice Limited will proudly carry the Fijian grown logo.

“This logo reaffirms our commitment and ability to produce rice locally, and one that we should all be proud of.

Mr Koya said the initiative supported the Fijian Governments’ import substitution programme; which targeted the production of goods that were mainly imported, but could be produced locally.

“I acknowledge farmers’ contribution to our rice sector and to the Fijian economy.

“I wish to remind farmers that they do play an important role not only to Fiji Rice, but to the rice industry, as a whole.”

He added the rebranding was the culmination of a number of improvements that the company had made recently in order to improve and enhance its services.

“With the premium price for rice paddy, Fiji Rice purchases paddy at a Government subsidised price of $650 to $750 per tonne, which is over and above the market rate of $550 per tonne,” Mr Koya said.

“Furthermore, in supporting our farmers, Government has provided an estimated $2.4 million since 2011 for the purchase of paddy.

“We have seen real and positive impacts on the ground, which are also encouraging,” he said.

“The number of farmers that supply to Fiji Rice has increased by 63 percent from 170 in 2013 to 278 in 2016.

“Fiji Rice was able to double its rice production from 331 tonnes in 2009 to 955 tonnes in 2016, a massive 188 percent increase,” he said.

 

Fiji Rice Industry Plan

Mr Koya said the rice industry remained an important source of livelihood in Fiji and had been cultivated in the country for many decades.

He explained that prior to the mid-1980s, Fiji was 75 per cent self-sufficient in producing rice; however, production trend decreased drastically as a result of:

 Deregulation;

 Expiry of land leases;

 Lack of interest by farmers and the younger generation. In fact farmers were leaving the industry; and

 Natural disasters and change in weather patterns

However, he said there were plans to reform and help revitalise the rice industry as outlined in the Ministry of Agriculture’s 2020 Policy Agenda and Green Growth Framework, launched in 2014 to enhance food security and reduce imports.

Furthermore, he said the continuing work to finalise Government’s five and 20 year- National Development Plan would continue to refine and consolidate those plans to bring out the best in their local rice industry.

Rewa Rice Limited chairman Raj Sharma said he was happy with the rebranding.

“We are now covering whole of Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and Levuka,” Mr Sharma said.

“With increase in production, we have plans to outsource sales and distribution to cover whole of Fiji while Fiji Rice Limited to focus on milling and production.”

 

Investment

Fiji Rice Limited is setting up a new mill in Dreketi and is expected to start operations next month.

Mr Sharma said the current mill was running efficiently with down time of about 5 percent compared with 65 percent in 2013.

“The new mill is worth about half a million dollars,” Mr Sharma said.

“The company invested into new modern electric dryers.

“One tonne per hour capacity in 2016 and approved 4×3 tonnes per hour capacity by November 2017.”

EDITED BY: IVAMERE NATARO

Feedback:  shratika.naidu@fijisun.com.fj

 

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