NEWS

Reddy Reassures Farmers of Govt’s Commitment

Mr Reddy held an informal talanoa session with Paipai-Vakabuli Pine­apple Cluster farmers in Lautoka
02 Feb 2019 11:00
Reddy Reassures Farmers of Govt’s Commitment
Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment Mahendra Reddy during a talanoa session with officers and farmers at Paipai-Vakabuli settlement in Lautoka. Photo: DEPTFO News

Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime De­velopment, Waterways and Environment Mahendra Reddy dur­ing his current tour of the Western Division highlighted Government’s continued commitment to the devel­opment of the agriculture sector.

Mr Reddy held an informal talanoa session with Paipai-Vakabuli Pine­apple Cluster farmers in Lautoka.

He received feedback from farmers on the issues they faced, and clarified the roles of two Ministries under his portfolio, namely Agriculture and Waterways, and what farmers could expect from the available services.

“The Fijian Government wants the agriculture sector to expand, the Ministry is continuously advis­ing farmers to view agriculture as a business and you need to operate your farms as a business, which is the only way the agriculture sector can grow further and expand,” Mr Reddy said.

He also assured farmers that there would be increased involvement by the Ministry in terms of providing quality services to the farmers stat­ing; “We will strengthen our adviso­ry capacity on the ground with more visibility of Agriculture officers on the farms.”

He also advised farmers to mini­mise their dependence on the use of fertilizers and chemicals.

“We are looking into the minimal use of chemicals and fertilizers and are advising farmers to revert and practice organic farming, the Minis­try of Agriculture will soon advocate farmers on new strategies and sub­stitutes on the use of chemicals and fertilisers.”

Farmers also used the opportunity to raise agricultural and waterways related issues concerning their farms and received assurances that these issues would be addressed. The Paipai-Vakabuli Pineapple Cluster was formed by the Ministry of Ag­riculture in 2017 with seven farmers from Paipai-Vakabuli settlement.

The set-up was because of the com­mon interest and activities in Pine­apple farming in order to combine and make the best use of their skills and resources.

Source: DEPTFO News

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