SUNBIZ

Programme Assist Farmers Increase Market Opportunities

The Ministry of Agriculture in an effort to enhance the livelihoods of people in Fiji assists farmers through the Demand Driven Approach (DDA) programme to develop sustainable farming in rural
07 Jul 2017 09:44
Programme Assist Farmers  Increase Market Opportunities
Participants at the Workshop. Photo:

The Ministry of Agriculture in an effort to enhance the livelihoods of people in Fiji assists farmers through the Demand Driven Approach (DDA) programme to develop sustainable farming in rural and outer island communities.

The programme empowers  farmers regarding the sustainability of their farms or agribusiness enterprises. It targeted at meeting the demand from production to market.

A major component of the project is to increase market opportunities and services that will enable beneficiaries to exploit opportunities.

The Rural and Outer Island (ROI) Program aims to enhance the livelihoods of people in the rural areas through farming. Focus is on commodities like root-crops, yaqona, papaya, vegetables and livestock mainly beef, poultry, pig, sheep and goat.

The Export Promotion Programme aims to improve agricultural exports, particularly the high value export and traditional food crops and livestock.

This programme targets progressive commercial and subsistence farmers in the Western and Northern Division with commodities like dalo, cassava, papaya, all Bilateral Quarantine Agreement (BQA) vegetables and ginger farmers that meet market demand.

Livestock assistance is also a part of the DDA programme of the Ministry hence the implementation of the Dairy Industry Support (DIS) Program for dairy farmers.

This programme focuses on the development of smallholder milk producers in the Central and Western Divisions.

This is in alignment with the Ministry’s aim to improve average milk production supplied to Fiji Co-operative Dairy Company Limited (FCDCL) from four litres per cow per day to eight litres per cow per day.

Fruits and vegetable farmers of the Sigatoka Valley (the Salad Bowl) are provisioned to the Sigatoka Valley Development Program (SVDP) of the Ministry.

This SVDP aims to provide drainage and irrigation facilities under the one third, two third basis of Government and to facilitate the intensive use of available farmlands for the production of high value cash crops for the local and export fruits and vegetable markets.

The Food Security Programme in itself aims to assist farmers and enterprises in the production and consistent supply of supplementary produce being imported such as rice, beef, sheep and dairy in the Northern and Western Divisions.

With a budget allocation of $1,500,000 for ROI, $1,000,000 for EPP, $1,000,000 for FSP, $850,000 for DIS and $200,000 for SVDP, the Ministry has assisted various farmers through these DDA programs.

The Ministry in the first quarter of 2016-2017 through the ROI program assisted 28 livestock and 14 crop farmers in rural and outer islands, 12 crop and 37 livestock farmers through the Food Security Program, 15 farmers assisted through the Export Promotion Program while a total of 15 dairy farmers were assisted through the DIS Program.

Individual, farmer groups or agribusiness operators that would like to be assisted under the program will need to consult with the relevant agriculture locality officers and go through the required project identification process before the submission of project proposals to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Assistance allowed under these programmes will involve financing of agro-inputs, land preparation machinery, farm equipment, planting materials, inputs into livestock production, agriculture research packages for post-harvest handling methods and demand driven infrastructure.

 

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