SUNBIZ

Yaqona nursery to provide plants for farmers

Fiji will soon have a new nursery to grow yaqona plants thanks to the financial assistance of New Caledonia’s Chamber of Agriculture, according to Mrs Jiu Daunivalu, CEO of FCLC
25 Apr 2017 15:06
Yaqona nursery to provide plants for farmers
Yaqona farmers with samples of young yaqona plants nurtured in the Korovou nursery. Photo: SUPPLIED

Fiji will soon have a new nursery to grow yaqona plants thanks to the financial assistance of New Caledonia’s Chamber of Agriculture, according to Mrs Jiu Daunivalu, CEO of FCLC that has organised the project.

“The Yaqona Farmers Association president Kiniviliame Salabogi, brought his concern to the FCLC that yaqona farmers were short on planting material and urgently needed help. We had received a $130,000 assistance from the Chamber and channelled some of the funds towards the nursery,” said Mrs Daunivalu who added, “We are greatful to the Chamber of Agriculture for not only their financial assistance, but in working with FCLC to help us develop mutual projects.”

Located in the Waimalua farming area in Korovou, the nursery is capable of growing 10,000 plants from yaqona seedlings, supplied by the Ministry of Agriculture.

“The nursery will be open to the 4,000 registered yaqona farmers Fiji-wide to assist in their replanting efforts,” said Mr Salabogi.

As the agriculture industry recorded more than $200millon in losses following the devastating effects of Tropical Cyclone Winston, yaqona experienced severe supply

shortages resulting in a price hike of up to $100 per kilogram.

Some of the worst hit yaqona farming areas included Ra, Naitasiri, Tailevu, Bua, Macuata and the Lomaiviti group.

Mandated by Government to represent the interests of non-sugar farmers in Fiji, the Council now has a membership of close to 30,000 farmers in Vanua Levu and Viti Levu.

Mrs Daunivalu said she is “encouraging other yaqona farming provinces to set up and register their respective associations under the Council’s banner to enable access to assistance from FCLC.”

Yaqona is among 12 commodity associations that comprise FCLC and includes: Grazing livestock (sheep, goats, beef cattle), Dalo, Cocoa, Ginger, Rice, Fiji Foods Exporters Association, Pigs, Beekeepers, Fruits and Vegetables, Organics, and Copra.

Feedback:  selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj

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