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More Support For Farmers to Improve Quality of Their Produce

Farmers in Sigatoka and Seaqaqa will now be able to produce quality vegetables and fruits after the handover of a new greenhouse by the European Union. The project is funded
28 Oct 2018 12:00
More Support For Farmers to Improve Quality of Their Produce
Programme Head-Genetic Resources at the Pacific Community, Michel Ghanem (left), EU Head of delegation Christopher Wagner (middle) and Director Research Apaitia Macanawai in the greenhouse. Photo: DEPTFO News

Farmers in Sigatoka and Seaqaqa will now be able to produce quality vegetables and fruits after the handover of a new greenhouse by the European Union.

The project is funded by the EU under the “Improving of Key Services to Agriculture (IKSA)” program with the Ministry of Ag­riculture.

Programme Head-Genetic Re­sources at the Pacific Community (SPC), Michel Ghanem said this collaboration started back in 2017 with the aim of promoting import substitution and export of fruits and vegetables. This, he says re­quires reliable production year round and disease resistant varie­ties.

Under this programme the Min­istry of Agriculture will receive some office equipment and comple­tion of greenhouses at the Sigato­ka and Seaqaqa Research Stations.

 

“The project worked with the Fiji Ministry of Agriculture and the Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT) in developing their tis­sue culture production of crops and varieties that are suitable for the Fiji environment.”

He further said that the project will provide support on the pro­duction of seedlings for both re­search purposes and for distribu­tion to farmers.

“This activity will guarantee vi­tality of materials being conserved and provide unique identification and evaluation information im­portant for users to know so they know how and when best to use each variety.”

“Earlier this year it had also pro­vided training on ‘Banana Tissue culture techniques and in vitro mass propagation protocols’ for both Ministry of Agriculture offi­cials and private sector partners.”

Director for Research Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Apaitia Macanawai acknowledged CePACTs ongoing support to the Ministry of Agriculture and EU’s generous donation.

He said the equipment and the green house will further boost their service delivery to farmers.

“We will produce tissue cultured planting materials and make it available for farmers through the two greenhouses that are being constructed at the Sigatoka and Seaqaqa Research Stations,” said Dr Macanawai.

CePaCT has so far provided the Ministry of Agriculture with around 2700 tissue cultured plants of banana and sweet potato varie­ties selected based on results of previous evaluations by the Min­istry of Agriculture which were selected based on their high yields and nutritional characteristics.

Source: DEPTFO News

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj



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