NEWS

Farmers Welcome Agriculture Minister’s Comments on Boosting Markets

Vegetable farmer, 42-year-old, Mahendra Rajesh Chand from Viria, Nausori said: “Farmers go into a lot of loss because they are unable to sell all their products to buyers. “The unsold vegetables eventually rot.”
20 Feb 2019 10:00
Farmers Welcome Agriculture Minister’s Comments on Boosting Markets
Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment Mahendra Reddy while speaking during the Ministry of Agriculture Strategic Development Plan finalization workshop on February 19, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Farmers have welcomed the Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment, Mahendra Reddy’s statement about boosting markets for farmers’ produce.

Vegetable farmer, 42-year-old, Mahendra Rajesh Chand from Viria, Nausori said: “Farmers go into a lot of loss because they are unable to sell all their products to buyers.

“The unsold vegetables eventually rot.”

Mr Chand said the new initiative was the best policy any Government could give.

“All farmers are waiting for help regarding marketing.”

Satish Chand , 53, of Labasa said that he had been a farmer all his life and finding buyers was his biggest challenge.

Mr Reddy outlined his ministry’s new strategy to boost production and supply for farmers in Parliament last week.

“By doing so, the ministry will remove the dilemma as to who will buy their produce, how they will get their produce to the market. Instead, they will strengthen, incentivise, resource and motivate the demand side. We will partner with exporters and we will make Fiji a major exporter of fresh produce.”

Yesterday at a workshop in line with his comments Parliament, Mr Reddy said: “The long term sustainable strategy for agriculture is to let demand drive production and supply.

“We need to move away from this ideology that supply will create demand to the ideology that ‘Demand will induce and create supply’.

“We strengthen the demand side, organize the middlemen, collectors, exporters, buyers, structure and support them and they will send signals to the farmers to produce and supply more and more and more produce.”

The workshop was on finalising the ministry’s Strategic Development Plan for the period 2019- 2023.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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