SUNBIZ

FCLC Chairman Praises Former Minister Cokanasiga

  Fiji Crop & Livestock Council chairman Simon Cole had high praise for the foresight of the former Minister of Primary Industries, Joketani Cokanasiga. “The Minister felt that agriculture needed
18 Dec 2018 12:57
FCLC Chairman Praises Former Minister Cokanasiga
Former Minister for Primary Industries, Joketani Cokanasiga.

 

Fiji Crop & Livestock Council chairman Simon Cole had high praise for the foresight of the former Minister of Primary Industries, Joketani Cokanasiga.

“The Minister felt that agriculture needed to be more commercialised and required an agency that could work with the farmers towards this end.  And he mandated FCLC to begin helping to develop the industry with a greater emphasis on the business end of farming,” said Mr Cole.

Mr Cole said that FCLC responded to the mandate by establishing commodity associations to act as the apex forum for advocacy and information exchange in agriculture especially with Government towards improved income for farmers.

“I have always been impressed with the knowledge the heads of the respective associations and their committee members have about their commodities. This is a huge resource which can be used to develop agriculture.”

Today there are 13 commodity associations that comprise FCLC including the Pigs, Yaqona, Grazing Livestock, Dalo, Cocoa, Ginger, Rice, Beekeepers, Fruit and Vegetable, Organics, Copra, and Fiji Food Exporter Association. Of the approximate 60,000 non-sugar sector farmers 35,000 are now registered to FCLC.

Apart from its work in registering farmers into commodities all over Fiji, it has also addressed a number of issues that affect agriculture like bio-security, seed importation, the achievement of a duty reduction on many imported agricultural inputs and equipment, progress on a milk purchase agreement (NZ funded), fertiliser subsidies as well as organising a number of workshops on farmer issues.

Importantly the FCLC is now part of a regional grouping of similar Associations. As a result it has received funding from the “Chambre Agricole” in New Caledonia for cyclone Winston relief that the Council has distributed to members.

“One point I believe must be made clear, FCLC does not represent the farmers. FCLC is the farmers.  Our role of facilitating and improving farming efforts has now become a part of the whole agricultural fabric.

“As a part of these efforts we are planning a FCLC launch workshop on February 1 in Suva to provide a format in each of our 14 associations will present their “State of Agriculture” from their perspective.

“It will be the first time that the commodities will speak as farmers to an assembled audience that will include Government, funding agencies, higher learning institutions as well as other interested parties.”

Source: Fiji Crop & Livestock Council

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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