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Young Fijian Makes Good Use Of Govt Scheme

  A Fijian who studied in India has made the most of Government’s Young Entrepreneurship Scheme and embarked on a journey to combine engineering and agriculture. Rinesh Sharma, 25, is
22 Sep 2018 18:56
Young Fijian Makes Good Use Of Govt Scheme
Entrepreneur, Rinesh Sharma.

 

A Fijian who studied in India has made the most of Government’s Young Entrepreneurship Scheme and embarked on a journey to combine engineering and agriculture.

Rinesh Sharma, 25, is an entrepreneur living in Lautoka who has started up something unique.

“While studying in India, I came across a software engineer who had an indoor hydroponics farm in Goa,” he said.

“After reading his success story, I made up my mind to do the same back home.”

Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil by using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent.

“Engineering combined with agriculture allows me to grow plants in its special conditions and parameters, maximising faster yields,” he said.

“I grow include strawberries, mint, coriander, coral lettuce and butter crunch lettuce. The idea of hydroponics came to me in my third year of engineering.

“Since then, I have researched every day about executing this project on a commercial scale in Fiji.”

Mr Sharma said he came back to Fiji in May and started an automated hydroponics system, in which he grew green leafy vegetables in his backyard.

“This was a challenging process because it was almost impossible to find hydroponic system supplies in Fiji, but regardless I made a small prototype where I can harvest 372 plants per month,” he said.

“Doing farming is the best thing I have done and perception really does matter because we have a lot of people who left farms and moved to the urban life and this has created a huge gap to fill in the field of agriculture.”

Mr Sharma said for him it was a mission to feed the world and he was going to start with his country.

“Upon my arrival in Fiji, I had applied for the YES entrepreneurship scheme run by the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Industry with the intention to begin an automated hydroponics farm in Fiji on a commercial scale and got a grant of $20,000,” he said.

He is thankful to the Government for providing him with the assistance.

“The assistance is motivating and encouraging for us the younger generation to do step forward and do something,” he said.

“I keep challenging myself with growing the most impossible edible items such as blueberries, raspberries and apples as well.

“It is important that people of Fiji are able to afford proper nutritional meals every day and that to at low cost.

“So, as a hydroponics farmer, I am able to control any device in my farm through a single touch on my phone via internet and I am also able to receive any data changes that may occur, such as change in PH, moisture, temperature.

“It was a privilege to be given a scholarship by the Indian High Commission where I got to learn so much.

“I came back to Fiji with the intention of working with the Government and their expertise to change and shape farming methods in Fiji.”

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: swashna.chand@fijisun.com.fj

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